Friday, December 9, 2016

Make My Day!

Most mornings you can find me outside my classroom door greeting every student I can by name. As part of our cultural competence training early in the year we read an article that said in large secondary schools kids can for days without ever being personally recognized. As our school grows ever larger each year, that seems like more of a risk for us. A simple solution? Teachers greet each student by name as they enter the class.

I have a student in my homeroom this year who is in our school's life skills program. Such a placement is only made for students with very low cognitive ability, a severe physical disability that impacts learning, or both. This guy is kind of a tough nut to crack. Almost completely non-verbal, he demonstrates aptitude in many areas, but inconsistently. Except technology. The kid literally loves pushing buttons, and he knows what he is doing, so it has become his job to turn the smartboard on and off each morning for and following the broadcast announcements.

He is often the first to arrive, unaccompanied, although a personal assistant follows not far behind him. I always wish him a good morning, but he rarely shows any indication that he has heard me. Early in the year I learned to enlist the other kids; he is much more likely to respond to them. His speech is mostly parroting things he has recently heard, so I was really impressed a month or so ago when he greeted his assistant by name.

But not nearly as impressed as when I saw him coming down the hall this morning. "Good morning!" I called to each student as they approached.

"Good morning, Miss Sheh-har-son!" he answered.

I'll take it!

No comments:

Post a Comment