A couple days ago I wrote about a student in my class who was struggling with completing work in my class. After a breakthrough moment in which I expressed to him the importance of taking risks and not fearing challenges, I wondered if this moment would have lasting effects. Yesterday, I had him again, and while he still had a lot of “Ms. Hertz I _____” moments asking for help and guidance, I could sense a change.
Sadly, he still struggled to complete the drawing, and I felt crushed. As I dropped the class off for lunch, M___ came up to me and asked me if he could come back to the classroom to work on his drawing. I looked at him, and seeing his pleading eyes, I couldn’t say “no.” We walked back to the lab. I asked him why he didn’t finish it during class. He replied, “They were too loud.” (note: the class was no louder than usual while working on a project) I realized that he was sensitive to noise while he worked. In the relative silence of the empty lab, I sat at my desk while he worked on his drawing. Every once in a while he would ask me how to do something, and I would tell him which tool might meet his needs. I didn’t get up once or need to model. The verbal directions I gave were enough.
As he worked, I could tell that he was constantly seeking approval. At one point he even asked me whether his drawing was “right.” I told him that his drawing was HIS. The only way that he could be ‘wrong’ was if the assignment was to draw a pig and he drew a boat. I told him that when I was a child I had an art teacher who told me that I was the ‘boss’ of my art and that no one could tell me how to draw. I also explained that not all teachers were like that; that some teachers might say his drawings were wrong, but not to worry about it. He seemed satisfied.
Here is the final drawing: