Archive for the ‘Character’ Category

Shades of gray

Yesterday there was about 45 minutes left in the day.  I only had about ten students in both rooms because the 21 others were either in computer or gym.  I was working on my laptop creating Benchmark Assessments for the Applying Stage.  I had four students with me in the academic room and six students were playing Apples-to-Apples in the game room.  In the academic room, two of the students were on the computer, one was working on math and the other student was reading his book on the couch in the corner,  rather sulkily.

He was fairly upset because he wanted to change his academic choice (SSR) to a non-academic choice (Apples-to-Apples).  The nine other students vetoed his choice because they were worried about changing a rule that was created on the previous day (a student cannot change a learning block from academic to non-academic only from non-academic to academic) and perhaps generating the wrath of the 24 other members of the community.  We created our rules to solve problems;  the students  didn’t want to change anything that might create future problems, and hence, more class meetings.

Well,  this student was very angry by the outcome and proceeded to his reading corner, which happens to be located on the  opposite side of the wall where the other students were playing the game.   Just about  five minutes into the block there was a loud yelp and some laughter.    I decided to ignore it because it stopped fairly quickly.   About 15 seconds later the student who was reading got up and walked out of the classroom.  I wondered where he was going?  To the bathroom?  That’s allowed.  To play?  That’s not allowed.  I got up to check.  No, he did not sign out to go the bathroom; he was in the back of the game room talking to the Apples-to-Apples group.   Uh oh.  That’s a reset.  He is not where he is supposed to be.  After about three minutes he returned to the couch and picked up his book and just looked at me. As of yet he didn’t even know I gave him a reset.    I went over to him and asked him what he was doing in the other room.  He said he went to give the student who yelled a reset.  I said OK.  Well, I told him I  gave him  a reset for leaving his learning choice area, but  I could take it off because he is allowed to do that.  Then he said,” I didn’t give it to him.”   Why, I asked. “Because he had 9 resets.”  (After 10 resets the rule is that the student is sent home for the rest of the day). I told him according to the rules I couldn’t take his reset off unless he gave the other student one.   He just shrugged his shoulders, picked up his book and started reading .”

This young student, who, only moments before was denied a chance to join the game, chose not to seek vengeance;  rather,  took a reset for himself because he did not want that student to be sent home.  Wow, what character!