>The Power of One

>”There’s one in every crowd,
brings the party in us out,
good time charley with a Harley, whiskey bent and hellbound,
he’s got the next round, but he always drinks for free,
there’s one in every crowd…”
-“One in Every Crowd” by Montgomery Gentry

Today was Jayvon’s first day back from some sort of disciplinary absence from school, and goodness gracious great balls of fire, he turned second period upside down. I like him a lot as a person: he’s fun-loving, smart, and downright hilarious…but he often uses those qualities for the wrong reasons in class. Luke can be a handful at times, but he was doing well for the past few days until Jayvon came back and seemed to unleash a tide of squirreliness.  (How’s that for a mental image?)  I can think of at least one student in every class who does that, and while I enjoy some of their antics, I do realize that it is disruptive and I need to set limits. Seventh period seems chockfull of such characters, and Pat has expressed concern that they will “walk all over” me. Many of the students in seventh period are smart enough to know when they can try pushing the boundaries, and I had already been thinking about extending lessons to be more challenging. Today, instead of guiding them through the candy tectonics activity, I decided to see what they could make of it on their own. I cut down on chatter by treating the activity as a test. I want to help smart students use their brains to their advantage, rather than to the detriment of other students. I’m thinking about letting some of them be some sort of “project leader” after the OAA, but I admit that I’m scared that they’ll take the inch I give them and run a mile. On the other hand, I really want to see what they are capable of doing, and more importantly, I want them to see it too. I keep circling back to the question I asked in my reflection: Can I trust my students as much as they are coming to trust me?

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