What happens when you spend time with your students outside of class? | Science in the City

Nov 24, 2012

What happens when you spend time with your students outside of class?

On a Friday night my school had a movie night.  We played a movie in the gym, and invited staff and student families to come watch the movie.  They sold popcorn, people were supposed to bring blankets and pillows and stuffed animals.

It was a really fun, positive night, and great to see kids out of context and out of class. To just get to relax and interact with them, without any pressure of work to be done, a clock to watch, and so many other distractions.

Our school is K-8.  Most of the students and families who showed up were fairly young. There was only one 'upper school' (7th or 8th) grade student.  He is one of our most hyperactive, behavior problem kind of kids that we have. I had him in class this year and last year.  He is kind of a likable kid, but always saying things that offend other kids, not doing work, bouncing around, goofing around....

At the movie night I saw a completely different person.  He came in with his blanket, quietly got a chair, sat near me and my kids.  He introduced  himself and shyly said hello to them.  He shook hands and talked to my son for a minute.  Then he wrapped up on the blanket and watched the movie silently.  When the movie was done he asked another adult to borrow a phone, called his parents for a ride, and politely told me to have a good weekend, and said bye to my kids.

It gave me a new perspective on him.  And made me think.  Will I treat him differently in class?  What can I do to bring out some of that from him in class?

When have you seen kids in a totally different light outside of class?

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