Monday, February 9, 2015

There's a Place for You

We got a new student on our team last week. He is in my homeroom, reading, and English class, so I have had some time to observe him. Coming in at this point in the year, a kid has to make a social call-- will he align with the teacher or with the students? A common dynamic is the new kid who has nothing to lose by defying the establishment and flouting the routine for the attention of the other students. Of course I want them to make friends, but not at the expense of the productive dynamic I've worked the last five months to forge.

This new guy has made a gentle venture in that direction. Soft spoken, he is self-effacing in the quiet confusion he broadly expresses about academic expectations, but it amuses his peers even so. The morning announcements can be particularly rich material for his act-- who are these strange folk and their odd pronouncements?

Today, though, there was a trailer for the international film we will air for the whole school on Friday, and when they said it was from Mongolia, his interest was genuine, and he moved to a seat where he could better see the screen. As the video rolled, he sighed and proclaimed, "My Mongolia! I would know you anywhere!" and I knew, that come Friday, he was going to have the attention of our class in a very positive way, as an expert on something he loves.

I don't think we'll have much more trouble after that.

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