I've never had a student like Seth.
He is extremely bright, extremely sarcastic, and extremely hard-headed. Did I enjoy him every moment at first? Nope. Was I patient with him every moment? Nope. Did I see his potential? Nope.
I will be the first to admit, I judged him wrong. It was at the beginning of the year, and we butted heads all day. (now, I know that I'm the adult, and he should respect me, but that's not Seth's way) For this young man, respect is earned, not given. I called his parents a couple of times, and no matter what I was telling them he did- from hitting a girl on the head to cussing and everything inbetween, they kept telling me I was going about it the wrong way. They said, you are either on his team or against him. Get on his team.
Now to any educator, when parents tell you what to do, it's sometimes taken the wrong way. I didn't like being told that I was failing with this student. Were his grades good? yes! Could he pass the state test? yes! But my success wasn't measured by scores. I want it to be measured by Seth taking interest, getting involved in class, and enjoying learning.
I'm not just any teacher, and I like a good challenge.
Slowly but surely, I took interest in Seth. I learned his likes and dislikes, I tried to see his strenghs and focus less on the distractions and sarcastic comments. And guess what...I did it!
I saw Seth today interact with a student in the special needs class with a huge smile on his face. Earlier this year Seth would have been either sleeping or reading while I talked about this volunteering oppertunity, but today...he raised his hand.
As I watched Seth work with Jesse, helping him glue, color, and bend the pipe cleaner for his butterfly, about how Seth is like that butterfly.....coming into himself beautifully.