Stuart's Spectacular Students

This is dedicated to my amazing students. The goal is for each and every one of them to feel unstoppable by the time they walk out of the classroom door for the final time in May. This chronicles their journey; their own Chronicles of Self-Actualization.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Knocking Down the Walls Before Us



I've heard that you're as big as the obstacle that stops you. But I also know that sometimes the obstacle seems like an insurmountable wall in front of you.

I know this is what many students think. Once you get behind in school, what you're expected to know seems to pile up faster than you can learn it, and the wall gets higher and higher, until you wonder why you should even try......if you're never going to be able to climb it anyway.

Good God, Mighty Mohammed and Brazen Buddha......if a child is learning, AND ALLOWED TO LEARN, to give up on him or herself in school, what kind of future is in store for them as an adult?!?

I'm beginning to think the kids who act up in school are the ones who still know inside that they are capable of more, it's just no one has figured out how they best learn and/or still believes they can learn, let alone Dream Big, Do Big, and BE BIG!

Some of these kids need our help in knocking down the walls in front of them. What usually happens is the kid is knocked down; in confidence, in self-esteem, in self-worth.

Yes I made Miguel cry yesterday because I wouldn't let up, I wouldn't back down and I wouldn't give up on him. He brought nothing into the classroom from the weekend. I put my hands on his desk, looked him in the face and told him that he WAS NOT nothing, and I wouldn't allow him to bring nothing. I've yet to meet a failure and I DON'T KNOW HOW TO ALLOW SOMEONE TO FAIL. So I see the best in them and work to help them see it too.

Well, my tough love made tears come down his face. I got out my phone and called my mother in Ohio, who says I should be training marines, not kids, because I'll make them cry. I lightened up but still kept believing in him in my head, hoping I had lifted him up versus knocking him down.

And this is the note I got from his mother this morning:

Dear Mr.Stuart,
........... Yesterday I was impressed that Miguel just wanted to read like if there was no tomorrow he read the thirty minutes on one book then he read for about one hour and 33 minutes I was in shock.
Thank you for whatever it is that you are doing to motiviate my son to read please keep doing it.
I hope that he reads as much as you needed him to read. I know that you are very busy but when you get the chance if you can write in a letter or you can call me if by any chance I dont pick up that probably means that I am still working you can leave me a message.
Thank you for being an awesome teacher my son talks about you everyday but dont worry they are good things.

Have a great day
R.
Miguel`s mom


And here's my reaction (lifting Miguel up to demonstrate his new view of the world).






This takes energy. Energy I don't really have. But it's needed so I will dig deep and find it, and draw it from friends, children family = LOVE.

And it leaves me with no time

no time for worry, doubt (myself or others)
fear
insecurity

of the wall in front of me just gets higher and higher


Now if I can get some students to STOP reading - Taneacea the Terminator reads well past bedtime. I had to tell her I won't credit past 9pm - she read till 4am Monday night - I think I'm firing them up too much - Better than not enough :-)

Must go pick up Sofia for school, take her to class, visit her in class, pick her up from class - With Love, anything IS possible - it is my life source anyway

19 Comments:

  • At 8:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    you look so mean when u fold ur arms

     
  • At 8:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    THIS WEBSITE ROCKS






    ANDREW

     
  • At 8:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    taylor-i love the pictures

    kelly- the pictures have good poses and i can't wait untill the end of the year

    florencia-post more pics from the reading

     
  • At 8:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    this website is the best.




    luis

     
  • At 8:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    this is chad and james we are proud to be a part of this class
    he does fire us up a lot he is nice but can be firm

     
  • At 8:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    how did u come up with the name????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    ?????????????????????????????????=p <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< ><> <>< ><> ><> <>< <>< ><> ><> [] ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ [] ][
    [] [] [] [] [] [] [p] . . --------

     
  • At 8:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    HI IM FROM FRANCE CALL ME!

     
  • At 8:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hey
    where's the shape dude???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    . . ------ nick mason/federal agent biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiily booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooob

     
  • At 8:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    tANEICEA you are the best teacher ever i dont know what to do without you. You are going to like me in yoir class. Thank you for putting me in your class

     
  • At 8:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    how u come up with blogspot??????????????????
    <>< <>< <>< <>< ><> ><> ><> ><> <>< <>< ><> ><> <>< ><> <>< <>< ><>


    . .

    ___________________

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • At 2:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    your such a motivating teacher, wow:) nice pictures it made me smile:)from (RV)

     
  • At 7:40 AM , Anonymous Sandra Mack-V said...

    Hi...I'm Miguel's aunt, and I know how difficult he could be sometimes. Thanks a lot for teaching with love. I can tell right away how much you care for these kids. Keep enjoying your profession and passing on the passion and tolerance you have in your heart. Thank you very much.

     
  • At 8:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mr Stuart,

    You are a WONDERFUL influence on all the students and school has just begun!
    My son Loves your class and is inspired by you in many ways!
    Keep it up.

    Nick's mom

     
  • At 9:50 PM , Anonymous Jess said...

    Wow, some of your students posts are.....interesting.I told Bridge and Panda about the post you did 4 dream team, and they got REALLY excited.I've also told my science teacher about your site, and he seems pretty interested,and liked your teaching ideas(open classroom,using all the classroom)I've also told him to never say I don't know when he did a few times, and he said he would remember,and that that made a lot of sense.Good luck with your new students(although we're still the best :-)..........Potato:-)

     
  • At 1:05 PM , Anonymous Esha Sharda said...

    Have Fun this year

     
  • At 4:31 PM , Anonymous Jess said...

    Heyyyy, that part with Miguel reminds me about something thast happened between us, you know, where you had been teasing me about that book, you called your mom? That was the almost the same thing that happened with you and Miguel.Ha!
    P.S.Don't go train marines, I want to see you in 7th grade.(make sure your mom knows that)

     
  • At 6:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mr. Stuart

    I really like the web page, the pictures are funny!

    See you in school on Tuesday,
    Kirsten

     
  • At 6:30 AM , Blogger Adam Stuart said...

    I am mean when I fold my arms :-)

    Yes, Drew, this website does rock!

    Yes the pictures are cool and I do have to find the time to post more.

    Kelly - why are you excited for the end of the year? Are you in a hurry to leave? Are you the one who said I look mean when I fold my arms? (I'm now folding my arms, even though I'm typing)

    Yes this website is the best, the best of the students inside this room. Make sure you give me your best Luis, and we'll get along just fine.

    I'm glad you're fired up boys. That's my job. Few people can see past the pictures of the fun and see the firmness and learning. Even my own son in the next room is starting to wonder if we do any "work".

    Taneicea - thank you for appreciating what I'm trying to do and giving me your best! Now start believing in yourself as much as I do :-)

    Thank you so much for the comments about Miguel. He is not difficult, he is in process of learning how to be his best self, and all that takes is patience, love and high expectations. I'm glad to do it and excited where he is headed.

    Nick's mom - another BIG thank you. Teaching each student how they need to be taught means teaching differently, and some parents are afraid of different, and don't support me. So a very sincere thank you.

    Jess - Yes! I've told the new students your story several times, especially when I got on Miguel. My mother is still surprised she doesn't get more calls from crying children. I'm glad your science teacher is open to new ideas. Do you see what an agent of positive change you are in this world already????? - French Fry!

    Esha - We will have fun this year. As you know, the more engaged you are, the more you are enjoying what you're doing - the more learning that is occurring! And life is just too short not to laugh every day.

     
  • At 1:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    there i am ya

     

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