Friday, February 19, 2010

Student of the week

Meet Adrian.

Adrian is 4 and this is his first year at the school. He was a late enrollment as one of the students dropped out. When his mother first brought him to the school she ensured me that he was a diablito (a little devil). This was very sad that she said this because she said it right in front of him, not in jest. She then told him that he had better behave himself because his teacher (me) was very mean and would spank him if he was bad. I quickly assured her that I was sure he was a good kid and would do just fine. Needless to say, this was not really the way I wanted to start out with him. I much prefer positive reinforcement instead of threatening punishment. But many parents do not give any form of positive reinforcement at home and think that the only way of discipline involves threats and spanking. Then kids grow up learning to not respect authority but only to fear punishment, which for many kids is not enough incentive to obey. Many parents and other people refer to kids as malcriados or poorly-raised. It makes me sad to hear people say this about kids because it makes me think that not even the parents care enough to try to raise their kids properly.
As it turns out, Adrian is anything but malcriado. He is a very sweet kid and always has a smile on his face. More recently he has starting tell me that he loves me about 50 times a day. He is extremely intelligent and has already learned to write his name all on his own. His mom tells me that he always insists on doing his homework by himself, with no one helping him.

Since he has started at the school I have also seen a change in his mom. She is a very nice lady and often comes to pick up Adrian early from school just to sit in the classroom and watch him. Sometimes she still makes comments to him that I would not necessarily approve of, but as she observes the way that I speak to the kids I see her attitude changing. Please pray for Adrian and his mom (Yesenia) that she would see her child the way that God sees him: as a blessing and a wonderful creation. Pray that she would understand that raising her child is a responsibility that God has given to her and that the way she treats her child now will affect him for the rest of his life.

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