Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What a Difference!


First period math "support". It was my fourth time covering this group, and I wasn't looking forward to it.

(It's a special ed class. The teacher has missed this period several times due to IEP meetings. I just happened to have a first period prep often enough to have gotten to cover. Pure luck.)

Small group, but they do nothing. And I couldn't convince them to get on task.

I've listened to conversations that I'd rather not repeat. Partying. Stuff they shouldn't be doing. I won't go into details.

I wasn't the only one with this problem. I had told Mr. L what happens while he's out. He informed me he had similar issues.

But this day, as Mr. L gave me the rundown of what they were to do, he explained that they finally had gotten in enough computers for all of them. So, instead of working on math, they were doing credit recovery. (It's kind of a long explanation, so just suffice it to say that I am familiar with this.) And things were going much better.

Dubious, I awaited their arrival. And they rolled in as per normal. But then a surprising thing happened. They got to work.
via GIPHY

I watched. I expected the usual conversations. While there was a little talking, they were mostly on task. One girl wrote an essay. (I got to proofread it. It wasn't bad.) One boy finished one assignment and started another. Another boy, who has done nothing every time I've seen him before, actually pulled up a science website for his current event for his science class.

Apparently, the lack of computers in the room was the issue. Who knew?

Sometimes I'm happy to be wrong.

Has someone ever surprised you in a good way? Have you ever been glad you were wrong about something?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Knitted W, monogram W, gift card holder

52 comments:

  1. There's been a few times I was glad to be wrong about something. Currently, have a couple new coworkers, one who has me nervous, and I'm really hoping to be surprised and have everything work out all right.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  2. I remember being told once to look out for this one class. They were all troublemakers, I was told (Special Ed/Learning Support), so I was worried. As soon as they sat down, I launched into a discussion of the Battle of Bull Run (you haven't known me long enough, but I told it in the manner I use at Penwasser Place for topics of an historical nature-check out my take on Xerxes tomorrow. Except for this class, I told them the unvarnished truth). I was pleasantly surprised that it was the most fun class of the day. Tell them true fact, but keep 'em laughing works, I guess.

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  3. I guess give the kids computers and they're happy.

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  4. That was a relief, but I can see how the lack of computers for all would be an unmotivating factor to work; this way now everyone had an opportunity to be able to get their work done :)

    betty

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    1. They had work. He gave them work to do. They chose not to do that work.

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  5. That is a very nice surprise. Glad the computer situation was resolved.

    And I have absolutely been pleasantly surprised before. I can't think of any specific examples at the moment, but I know its happened!

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  6. Sometimes it is nice to be wrong

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    1. Yes, there are times when I'm glad I'm wrong.

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  7. How nice to be wrong and yes, I have been there and so glad to have been wrong

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  8. What a refreshing tale! I don't envy you one bit, though :)
    Thanks for visiting my blog during the A2Z
    Jemima Pett

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    1. It's nice when I get a nice story rather than a horror story.

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  9. I love being pleasantly surprised and try to cherish the moments.
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
    My Internet access is good right now, so I’m so glad I got to visit. Best wishes!

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    1. Yes, having a pleasant surprise is nice.

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  10. That must've been a nice surprise. If only these kids realized that by not doing their work they're only making things harder for themselves in the long run *sigh*

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  11. I wonder what it was about the computers that prompted them all to actually work. Maybe the credit recovery thing was just more important to them.

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  12. Oh wow! I'm glad getting the computers helped out!!

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    1. Me too. Although, now I probably won't be sent to cover that class again.

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  13. I guess it's true, not everyone responds to learning the same way. The computers seem to have done the trick for these kids.

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  14. I wonder how other country handle kids with special needs. Or how they handle it in future.
    Coffee is on

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    1. That's a good question. Maybe they know something we don't.

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  15. I'm happy with a computer any day of the week. Sometimes I think I can't function without one. (oh man, now I'm wondering if I'm special needs)

    Mary
    #AtoZChallenge W is for Wilson Phillips

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    1. Special needs makes it seem like something they aren't. This level of special ed is more of a they need a little extra help. Not terribly lower than average.

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  16. When I went to school the special ed classes were usually for the mentally handicapped. Is this still the case? Never mind. I just read your explain above. More just slow kids. That makes a big difference. Glad they got to work for you!!

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    1. Special ed encompasses a whole gamut of different kids. There are the ones who just need a little extra help on one end. On the other are the ones who may be high school aged, but are still doing kindergarten work. As well as those who are confined to wheelchairs and are non verbal.

      This group was on the higher end.

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  17. What a pleasant surprise! It's nice to know that the kids just weren't flat out lazy or rebellious. They just needed to connect via the world that the rest of us connect to (and I don't mean social media, I mean exploring/learning/discovering).
    So glad you had a good day. That must have made you happy! And them too. A win all the way around...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. It was better than I was expecting, that's for sure.

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  18. That is a pleasant surprise, computers really helped this class out! It sounds like they just needed something a little more interactive.

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    1. Yeah. I guess that's how they think.

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  19. I guess the novelty of the computers was what they needed. That's the sort of surprise that makes your day!

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    1. I don't know about novelty (they spent a lot of time on their phones), but it helped focus them.

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  20. I'm glad to hear that modern technology saved the day!

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    1. Modern technology can be useful. Sometimes.

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  21. People all too often surprise me and yes often in a good way. I think we are all a bit jaded and sometimes expect the worst. I love it when a little fella opens a door or does some other chivalrous act, cos they beam and I beam as I thank them for being such a wonderful gentleman.

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    1. Yeah, sometimes people can surprise you.

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  22. Isn't it nice when a solution is relatively simple, instead of multifaceted, or when you're not even sure which of the things you changed was the thing?

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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    1. Oh, I'm sure it was the computers. But simple solutions are the best.

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  23. It's good when you're surprised in a good way. I'm glad it happened to you.

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  24. Surprises are always fun, especially when you are expecting the worst in someone and you see the best in them. I think it happens more often than we realize, but we are geared to remember when something bad happens to us more than when something good happens.
    I'm glad I'm wrong every time I say, "Well, we lost this game for sure."

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    1. Yeah, sometimes it's good to be wrong.

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  25. Yes, I have been surprised in a good way by people unexpectedly. It's nice to know that people aren't always what they seem to be at first glance. In those cases, I'm glad that I was wrong. ~Meg Writer‘s Crossings

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    1. Yes, it's nice when people surprise you in that way.

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  26. What a nice turn around for you and the class! Sometimes all it takes is the right tools to motivate someone I guess :)
    Debbie

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    1. At least something motivated them. I kinda feared nothing would.

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  27. My 16 year old son had an IEP in a small Northern California town since his 2nd attempt at kindergarten. We had IEP meetings three times a year and he never made any progress, but the IEP team acted like he was making progress. Finally, at the end of fourth grade the school psychologist gave the diagnosis of "severe dyslexia". Why this took so long, I have no idea! I was friends with his IEP teacher since before my son was born, the IEP teacher was my oldest daughter's brownie leader and her daughter's friend.

    I left the end of 4th grade IEP meeting mad as hell. I decided right then and there I'd teach my son to read myself even if it killed me. Up until this point we'd done all the homework, did everything that was assigned and he could maybe read nine words, which he had memorized.

    I learned to read with Dick & Jane. I never learned phonics until I taught my son how to read.

    Over summer I worked with him everyday. I assumed he knew nothing. I used the UK Dancing Bears for dyslexics reading program, Plaid Phonics, and some Amish homeschool reading programs. When one program would get too hard, we'd switch for awhile and then go back. This youngest kid of mine needed TONS and TONS of repetition. His three sisters never had this problem, but I can remember struggling to learn how to read and we think my husband is a stealth dyslexic.

    Our son returned to public school for 5th grade. Within a few weeks he was tested for his reading level and placed at 2.5! In one summer he went from basically ZERO reading ability to second grade! I removed him from school that same day and have never looked back.

    Reading and spelling are always going to be a struggle for my son. Currently he's reading at a 5th grade level, but he's on track for math. If I had left in him public school I think he'd be a very angry 6'2" young man looking to get into trouble. Instead my boy is a gentle giant, he's a sweet respectable young man.

    The person who surprised me in a good way is my husband who backed me up when I wanted to remove our son from public school. My husband was 110% in. My son also surprised me in a good way by working his butt off to learn how to read and he was always positive even when he thought reading was impossible for him.

    I ran into his IEP teacher at Walmart about six months after I withdrew our boy from public school. She told me I did the right thing. In the IEP class she was dealing with 20+ kids some with cognitive issues, some with severe behavioral issues and some with both and she only had one aide. She said all along my boy just needed some one on one time.

    This wonderfully smart "severely dyslexic" kid of mine has had an iphone for a few years and is able to read texts and send some smartass texts back to his older sisters. At one point I wondered if he'd ever be able to even read a text message.

    Life is good! :D

    Shelly @ http://hangryfork.com

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    1. That's quite the story. Yeah, the special ed system is kinda overwhelmed with all that they're expected to do. As is the school system, to be honest.

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