I was reading Larry Ferlazzo‘s blog over the weekend. A blog that I highly recommend. You can find it at http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/. As I was looking through the vast amount of information on his site I ran across an article he wrote titled “Don’t bother me with facts son. I’ve already made up my mind.” In this article he brought up an old cartoon character that I have not thought about in years Foghorn Leghorn. I got to thinking about how many times I have heard teachers sound like him in the teachers lounge and that would include myself. We often express our frustration about students to our fellow teachers and don’t realize the impact that can have on a students. So many times students come to class and the teacher has already made up their mind made up about that student. Don’t tell me to give this student a chance I know all about them! From where the teachers lounge? The halls? This is something that I see far to often at the beginning of the year. Every student deserves the right to start over and get a fresh start. Often times however they don’t get that chance because the teacher thinks that they already know all about that student.
A lot can happen over the summer. Students who left the school in June can return in September quite a different person. Teachers need to assess off of what they see and observe in their classroom. Every teacher creates a unique relationship with their students. What works for one teacher in a room may not work for another. This can lead to different learning environments that might make Johnny successful in your class. But he first must be given a chance!