( Intermediate Level )
As Miss Jenny arrived all the students but one chimed, “Good Morning Miss Jenny.” Minh was deep in her activity to see her teacher arrive. The system titles her as a special needs student but Miss Jenny just tells her and her classmates she is special.
Most of Minh’s classmates had the compassion to help her feel part of the class. There was one student, Nam, who could care less about her.
Every time the class had an activity she was given a head start or some type of an advantage to allow her to do better than she would otherwise. This just made Nam mad.
“Today everyone will review our vocabulary words. First, let’s play the memory game. I will face all words backward on the board and you will have to find the word I say. If you find the word and use it in a sentence correctly then you will earn your team an extra point.”
Nam let out a sigh, “Miss Jenny I don’t want her on my team.” he pointed at Minh who was still deep into her own activity but looked up at Nam as he talked. “Move her over to the other side. She will make us lose. She is stupid!”
This was not the first insult towards Minh out of Nam. Jenny usually ignored his complaints but today she didn’t. She saw Minh’s face as she realized Nam meant her. Did she understand? Maybe not but Jenny did and it made her stomach sick.
She wondered how Nam came to be who he was at such a young age. At ten years old his innocence was gone. “Well, Nam just because you said that I will move her to the other side and make her the captain of Team Two.”
This made Nam giggle out loud. He won this battle with Miss Jenny. What he didn’t realize was that Minh was very good at remembering things. Especially when it involved visual cues.
Miss Jenny moved Minh to the opposite side of the room and her new teammates welcomed her. Jenny quickly showed her students all the vocabulary words then mixed them up and put them on the board facing backward. She numbered them one through twenty.
“Ok, now let’s have one from each team do rock paper scissors to see which team goes first.” Nam quickly stood up and Minh’s new teammates elected her. The two faced off and Nam won. He was gloating as he went back to his seat.
“Seems Team One goes first.” Nam quickly stood as he elected himself to be the first. “Where is the pencil case?” Nam looked at the board and said , “Number eleven.”
Miss Jenny turned over the word for eleven. “Oh, I am sorry it is not a pencil case.” Nam sat down and Jenny looked toward Team Two. “Who will go first here?” Minh shook her head. She didn’t want to go first.
Another classmate raised her hand and stood. “Number seven.” It was not a pencil case. This went on for a few rounds. Each student is trying to find the vocabulary word pencil case.
Finally, a member of Team One found the word pencil case. “Yeah!” Nam was happy his team got the first two points. The extra point for using the word in a sentence.
Minh watched the board carefully as each vocabulary word was turned over in search of the pencil case. As Miss Jenny calculated, Minh knew exactly where each of the following vocabulary words was when asked to find them.
The score now was Team One fourteen points and Team Two twenty – six points with Minh finding or helping her team member find the vocabulary word that was next to find.
Nam’s mood had changed and he was annoyed that his own team hadn’t done better. Miss Jenny had noticed this change and inside she felt this would be a lesson Nam would remember.
She glanced over at Minh who sat there calmly. With only two more vocabulary words to find and turn over it is a given Team Two won this activity. She wasn’t rubbing it in Nam’s face that her team obviously won.
Team One found one of the remaining two vocabulary words and Team two the other. “Team Two won!” Miss Jenny said. All the team members clapped and showed their thanks to Minh who had helped them a great deal.
As the teacher glanced over at the other team they too were celebrating the other team’s win except for Nam who sat there in silence.
Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen
Thoughts From Angel:
This is an actual event that took place in my classroom. Instead of pointing out the fact I let the student realize it himself what a grave mistake he made by judging his fellow classmate.
(Names were changed)
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chimed – verb: resounded
special needs student – noun: various difficulties (such as a physical, emotional, behavioral, or learning disability or impairment) that causes an individual to require additional or specialized services
compassion – noun: sympathetic pity and concern
advantage – noun: a condition or circumstance that puts one in a favorable or superior position
insult – verb: speak to or treat with disrespect
ignored – verb: refuse to take notice of or acknowledge
visual cues – noun: concrete objects, pictures, symbols, or written words that provide a child with information about how to do a routine, activity, behavior, or skill
gloating – adjective: dwelling on one’s own success or another’s misfortune
calculated – adjective: done with full awareness of the likely consequences
annoyed – adjective: irritated
rubbing it in (his/her) face – idiom: to boast to make someone someone feel bad
a great deal – phrase : large amount
Question ( s ):
How would you have handled this situation?