Unconditional Positive Regard

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8 thoughts on “Unconditional Positive Regard”

  1. What a beautiful and encouraging story! This truly embodies what we always tell each other, that kids are ready at different stages in the game. And when they are ready, they soar. And isn’t it wonderful how these things happen when we need them the most?
    Right before break, I was getting really frustrated because I felt that I was hitting a (low) ceiling with my 9th graders. I gave them a quick write and one boy (a low achiever, I don’t want to call him slow processor because he processes very quickly but chooses to just tune out most of the time) wrote a really great piece, using a huge range of vocabulary and making barely if any grammatical mistakes. I don’ t know why I picked him to share his reading with the class (I usually just chose a random person) but I am sooooo glad I did. We made a big huge deal out of praising him and you could just see him growing in his seat a few inches. Needless to say, these are the kind of reminders that come when we most need them that what we’re doing is the right thing and the only thing (I guess, I should only speak for myself, because most of you don’t still doubt yourselves the way I do).
    Grant, she is only lucky (and certainly happy) girl to be in your class!

  2. Wow. I felt my eyebrows go up when I read “I’ve noticed that when there are girls mixed with boys you use the boys’ sound”. Amazing that she, of all the students in your class, noticed that.

  3. Dear Grant,

    This young lady just changed your life as a teacher. I wouldn’t buy in to whatever labels she carries around ….this child is a brilliant gem.

    She probably has labels because, for a number of reasons, she isn’t attuned to the system. She is attuned to the GREATER WORLD. Thank you for honoring this.

    Just as Ben writes about letting language flow naturally and not taking the “plan” too seriously, it is so important that we let growth happen naturally and not judge too keenly where children are and what they are in our classrooms to learn.

    We teach students….via the language. Oh the beauty of watching them grow!!

    with love,

  4. Plus I would guess that Hmong schools aren’t exactly the best training ground for active interpersonal and reciprocal and participatory interaction with others in terms of your perception of her for the first half of the year.

  5. when your first language isn’t English and you are immersed in a world of English you are trying to cope with, it seems like you are slow. You are. You are translating into your native tongue constantly. This young woman is in high school–a very scary place of in-crowds and out-crowds. Fazing out is a coping skill for sure. But, now she is having to do a third language. So, slow and steady is how she grasped English. Now having observed a second language English for it’s peculiarities, she is observing the third and making relationship with what she knows already. WOW! I am so impressed with what she is doing. I know your class perked up and honored her for her contributions.
    All of you are lucky she came into your lives and found the personal courage to participate!

  6. Grant,

    What a beautiful story. It reminded me to never give up on ANY kid , at anytime even late in the year because you just never know when the lightbulb will go on!

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