Doing Nothing can be a Great Teaching Strategy

3 Oct

A student asked me for help. She was agitated.

We’d just returned from the attendance assembly where, in recognition of perfect attendance, she received an award, an orange pencil with “Perfect Attendance Winner” in silver down the side. She nervously told me that something was wrong.

“What?” I asked.

She leaned in and told me in hushed tones  “I didn’t have perfect attendance, but I got this pencil. I was away one morning for a dentist appointment”.

I waited and looked at her…

“What should I do?” she said, holding the new orange pencil. “Well, maybe because it was an appointment it doesn’t count?” I said, giving her a way out.

She thought then shook her head slightly, still conflicted. So again I looked at her and waited …

She finally came to a decision, gave a little nod and held out the new pencil for me to take. “You’re sure?” I said. “Yes” she said “It wouldn’t be right” and she turned and skipped back to her desk.

She made the right choice all on her own. Awesome!

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