Yesterday, I had students do their bell work on an index card
because you know how I love index cards because I wanted a quick assessment/check-in on a few items we’ve been working on. Our proud fella predictably sat there, index card untouched.
It’s a battle, you see, and he considers the refusal to do bell-ringers as conquered territory. His obstinate stare is his flag waving in the wind of my words.
On a hunch, I walked over.
I’m quite sure he was ready for our usual exchange (re: do your bellringer/no/your choice, etc. etc). Not so much, not today. Instead I said, “Hey. Tell me how you’d do number one.” He told me. It was right.
"Awesome," I said, no surprise or any real inflection in my words other than calm. "Now what about number two?" He told me again and it was right. "Alright, cool. Gimme my card back."
There were only the two questions, so I got my unused card back and walked away, without looking back, to carry on with the lesson. A minute or so later, I heard him whisper to the guy next to him, “Nah I already did it. She let me tell her the answers.”
Today, during bell work, he called me over.
"I have a proposition for you," he began, and I mentally started tearing down his battle flag to replace it with my own. Negotiations were had, terms were laid, and now I’ve got a signed Bell-ringer Treaty in my back pocket.
Win-win, kiddo. I’ll still let you think the battle is yours though.