Friday, October 19, 2012

Star Wars (in a way...)

I promise this will have a point...I think : )

True Story:  As many of you know I have two boys Drew age 10, and Troy age 7.  My boys are polar opposites, Troy is very outgoing, and "in your face". Drew is quieter, introverted, and techy.  This blog involves Drew.  Drew has always been, "a tough nut to crack" so to speak.  He can be, shy, rude, peculiar, bright, unmotivated, and sensitive.  Yes, all over the board.  Recently Drew has taken an interest in Star Wars.  We have watched Episode I, II, and III together.  Drew has had many questions and lots of insightful comments.  A few days ago we watched Episode III.  (Spoiler Alert) In this Episode Anakin chooses the Dark Side and turns into Darth Vader.  We all know Darth Vader.  Well, Drew cried at this part, and it wasn't a little cry it was very emotional.

Before I continue with the Star Wars piece it is important to note that Drew has had many struggles in school.  He is bright, but EXTREMELY difficult to motivate.  This has made for many long, stressful nights at home.  This year has been different, Amy and I have decided to give Drew some independence and see how he does.  Through the first 30+ days he brought home homework 5 times.  I knew he was in trouble, but I continued to back off and hope he would become inspired or possibly become responsible.

Two days after watching Episode III, Drew was in his normal mode of being difficult.  He wouldn't listen to Amy and I and he didn't believe his teachers or doctors (eye doctor and sleep doctor) knew anything.  I decided enough was enough.  I sat down with Drew and explained my concerns and fears.  The conversation was lengthy, he yelled, he cried, and then he made a startling argument.  He said that he knows best and that everyone else is wrong, he said no one understands me.  I felt like I was hitting a brick wall, I had to try to relate to him some how.  After his comment I looked him in the eye and said, "You've crushed me Drew, you have chosen the Dark Side."  His eyes widened and he paused, he said "what?" I then clarified the similarities between his selfish ways and Anakin's selfish ways.  The next ten minutes went remarkably well.  I do not think Drew is going to be perfect, but I broke through, and I now have New Hope (Star Wars reference)!

I took this lesson with my own son to heart.  I have had difficult conversations with parents, parent groups, students, and even some staff members.  What I find is that relating to each person or group helps me understand how best to deal with the situation.  Clearly I deal with students different then I do parents, but the overall key is relating.  

We are nearing the end of the first quarter, you definitely know which students will cause you the most heartburn this year.  My advice is find an interest, a hobby, an angle that will help you relate and understand the student.  By doing this the student will know how much you care and if nothing else it will help in communicating with parents. 

Tomorrow or Sunday Drew and I will watch Episode IV.  I plan to revisit our conversation and help him in any way I can.  My two boys are polar opposites, no two students are alike, every situation is different.  Try to break through barriers with love and caring.  Try to relate to your difficult student and see if that makes any difference.  I know all of you care for kids, keep the faith, understand the challenges we all face, encourage each other and may the force be with you : )

Important things to note:

*  TAT on Wednesday for grades 1 & 2
*  Halloween parade has been moved to 2pm on Wednesday
*   Two weeks left in the first quarter
*  If you are struggling with entering goals please contact me, I can help.
*  K-2 assembly on Wednesday
*  All MEAP materials must be completed by Friday, if you have any materials locked in your room please turn them in Monday.

Great Things Noticed or Heard:

*  First graders tell it how it is, Aurora saw me in a sweater on Wednesday and said, " Why are you wearing that?"  I said, "I didn't have any power at home."  Aurora then stated, "You look terrible!"  I chuckled : )
*  Nearly every day students bring me something, cupcakes, birthday treats, cards or pictures, but last week a few Young Five students asked me to make them a I did : )
*  Delicious Birthday Lunch on Friday!
*  Thank You to Mr. Lenhart and Mr. Baum for being so flexible on Friday.
*  It was really cool to hear all the students singing at the assembly.  #WarnerPride
*  3rd grade had a breakfast feast on Friday!  Big thanks to all parents that helped out.
*  Mrs. Soper's students cut open pumpkins and cooked the seeds!  Great memories.
*  Sat down with Matt, Adi, Michael, and Bailey.  They all shared thoughts on their books.  Walking in to a class that is engaged in reading was wonderful.  I didn't want to leave.
*  Very impressed with the maturity in Mrs. Dault's room.  The class out behaved some of our older students.
*  Heard nice comments at recess about Mrs. Oliver's science experiment outside.  Students talking academics at recess...nice to hear!
*  Mrs. Smith's class really enjoyed Safetyville.  I was told no one got a ticket!
*  Tyson and his Kids Hope mentor made a really cool Pine Wood Derby car!
*  All eleven students in the Warner String team could play Hot Cross Buns!
*  Big thank you to Mrs. Walz for all of her cleanup support.  Always going the extra mile...thank you!

Next Week at a Glance:

Tuesday, October 23rd:  4th grade to IndianBrook Farms
Tuesday, October 23rd:  Warner String Team at 4pm
Wednesday, October 24th:  K-2 Assembly at 8:45
Wednesday, October 24th:  TAT grades 1 & 2 beginning at 2:45
Thursday, October 25th:  Opening Day of CD Federal Credit Union
Saturday, October 27th:  Happy Birthday to Mary Lou Miller

Articles Worth Your Time:

Videos Worth Your Time:

Seth Godin (2 minutes)

Creative, Risk Taking, Fun (4 min)

Sir Ken Robinson discusses collaboration (6 min)


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