Thursday, October 17, 2019
Sort of a Reward
Eighth grade math. They were doing test corrections. That is, they were going through their tests and reworking the problems they got wrong. This was a mostly voluntary exercise as if they chose not to do it, the teacher wasn't going to force them. It could only improve their grade.
In fact, the teacher told me that if they wanted to mess around watching videos on YouTube or playing video games, she was fine with that. I wasn't about to tell them this, so when they asked what to do after they finished (or if they told me they weren't going to do it), I told them to work on work for another class or read a reading book. (This is my usual speech for when middle schoolers tell me they're finished with the assignment.)
Several of the students were familiar to me from the vacant English class at the beginning of the year. (I will probably say this a lot this school year.)
It was sixth period. A girl called me over. I recognized her. She was one of the good ones. (Several of my problem students were girls, so that doesn't go without saying.)
She showed me her test score. She got 27 out of 27. 100%. Therefore, no corrections to be made.
"Congratulations," I said. "You get a free period."
Because, I totally could have told her she could do other work. And she might have chosen to do so anyway. But I'm totally good with telling her she can watch videos or otherwise veg all period. She earned it.