One of Those Teaching Moments

There is a girl (I will call her A) in my class, she is a sweet girl who at 10 is incredibly hard on herself and does not believe she is good at anything.

A has been struggling at maths for awhile now (before me), she has that total attitude that she does not like maths and that she is no good at it.

I have been trying to keep her engaged with the maths lesson and keeping her self believe at a higher level, but it has been a struggle.

Yesterday we did the dreaded speeches, the class only had a week to come up with their speech (my associate had run out of time and had not been able to give them more), it had to be a persuasive argument on whatever topic that they wanted.  A wrote a fabulous speech about the rain forest and why we should save it.

When it came to A's turn to speak she stood in front of the class and spoke so quietly that you could only just hear her, it was such a shame.

My associate and I had a discussion on the class speeches to talk about who we thought should go into round 2 (there are 2 rounds before we send 4 to the judging panel).  We were choosing 8 students which was quite easy to do, I made the suggestion that we put A through as she had actually met the criteria the best as far as content went and I wanted to encourage her to do better. 

My associate jumped on the idea as at the beginning of the year A had been a lot more confident and she felt A needed a bit of a push.  We both approached her to ask if she would try again, she was surprised to say the least and kept saying 'really, me?' but at the same time I swear she grew an inch!!

I talked to A about how her speech ticked all the boxes she just needed to talk louder, I made the suggestion that she picture her Dad (also a teacher in the school) is sitting at the back of the room and he has to hear what she is saying.

It worked!!!  Today she stood in front of the class, her voice was loud and clear and full of emotion.  When she sat down she looked at me with this big smile on her face, she knew she had done well, and I think my smile was as big back, I was so proud of her.

The smile was even bigger when she was one of the final four going through to the judges round, she was so proud of herself - and rightly so.

It was a good teaching day - I made a difference in a child's education journey (even if it was only a moment in her journey), but just as importantly she made a difference in my teaching journey that will live with me forever.

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