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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Take a Pause

A few weeks ago Jacob's school began it's third quarter.  The teachers asked the kids to write two goals for the rest of third grade.  The examples given had to do with passing reading levels etc.

This is what Jacob wrote - exactly.

1.  Do not Get Posis in a week.
2.  Do not tock ot uf trn.

Just a reminder - Jacob has learning disabilities.  He has worked long and hard to get close to grade level in reading.  Writing is painfully difficult for him.  

The first goal states that he doesn't want to get any pauses in a week.  This is the classroom's version of time outs.  When they aren't paying attention or are disruptive, they take a pause.

The second goal says that he doesn't want to talk out of turn.  That's pretty self-explanatory.  The teacher's comment was, "Both achievable goals".  

I have really mixed feelings about these goals.  On the one hand I'm glad that Jacob wants to get along in school and doesn't like when his behavior doesn't reflect the kind, gentle young man he strives to be.  On the other, it bothers me that behavior and not academic achievement is not the first thing that comes to his mind.

Jacob gets very frustrated with himself when he isn't able to reach these goals, but from what we've seen, it's not because he doesn't want to.  Sometimes he just can't.  This doesn't mean he can't or won't at a later date, but sometimes - it's just not possible in that moment.

Personally, I know I would be a much better person if I took a pause before spouting off my mouth or judging someone else harshly.  We surely have high expectations for children - sometimes much higher than what we as adults expect from ourselves.

Everybody just take a pause today.  The world would be a much nicer, kinder, gentler place if we just followed that piece of advice.

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