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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Proof that Mommy Differentiates

Vinny is studying the letter M. One of the tasks in his homework packet today was to "Move like a Monkey."

Me:  Vinny, it says you need to "Move like a Monkey."

Vinny: I don't know how.

Me: Yes, you do.

Vinny: Can you show me a video?

      Hahaha. Last week, when it said he needed to "crawl like a snail," he said he didn't think snails crawled (and still asserts that they slither more than crawl... he may be right), so I turned to youtube and we watched videos of snails. So today, he wanted to watch videos of monkeys.

     After the videos, I said, "Okay, now can you move like a monkey?"  He informed me that he wasn't going to do it. I reminded him that mommy has to report on his performance, and he was afraid the teacher would be mad if he refused to do it, but he refused anyway.

     Unwilling to give up, I decided to appeal to my little man's natural desire to be outside. "Hey," I suggested, "Maybe you could do it on the monkey bars outside!" We had a match!!!  We went outside, and Vinny discovered he loved moving like a monkey so much, he did it six times.

     I would like to think that this is evidence that ANY student can complete ANY task, if only the teacher can find the key to engaging that particular student. This is why educators need to heed Henry David Thoreau, who once said,  "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."

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