This week I welcomed two new students into my classroom. A girl from Georgia (the state not the country) and a boy from Brazil. The girl came on Monday in a calm, sweet way, and quietly raised her hand to answer questions after the first hour or so… and did this only a couple times throughout the day. The boy came on Tuesday with bells and whistles and an attitude of, “zip up my coat, now.” He treated me as if he always knew me and I was around to “do things for him”. The girl was showed her spot on the rug and sat down obediently, listening to my teachings and whit and giggling appropriately (what? I am funny). The boy was showed his spot, immediately turned around and started talking to the student behind him, did not listen, and now calls out answers regularly and does not bring his homework home.
Do not misunderstand me, this is not me pointing out that the girl, because she is a girl, is acting one way and the boy, because he is a boy, is acting another. The genders could be switched and it would make no difference to me. It is just really interesting to me that I received two new students who are acclimating (is that not a word? I thought it was, someone tell me) into my classroom in two completely opposite ways. And I will admit, I very much enjoy the way the girl is adjusting verses the boy. But it is all about understanding your students, so I will have to wait and see what makes my Brazilian boy tick.
It is also reminding me of my ninth year of life. I entered fourth grade at the same time my two new students entered their second grade class, halfway through the year. Only I had never been to school before (at least in a building with other students, I went to school in my kitchen). I wish I could remember the way I acted those first couple days. I have a feeling I jumped right in to answering questions and acting as if I knew Ms. Carlson my whole life. I liked her, I liked my classmates. I remember one time I accidentally called her “mom”. It was devastating, I was so embarrassed (yeah, I know… you probably thought I never got embarrassed… well, it’s rare).
I will keep reflecting on my two new students and their behavior. I know you are all biting your nails in anticipation.