Real Stories

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SHARE: How a Focus on Independent Learning Transformed My Most At-Risk Students

The first time I saw Kevin, he shuffled into my classroom, staring sideways toward the floor. It was the third day of the new school year—he hadn’t made it to my room the first two days.

“Hi. You must be Kevin,” I said with a smile.

Kevin didn’t look at me. He only grunted a slight noise and looked around for a place to sit. As it turned out, Kevin was mostly non-verbal with emotional and learning disabilities. He was also an apathetic student who lacked the ability and desire to self-start or persist with educational tasks.

As the weeks passed, I tried to connect with Kevin, but he was indifferent to my attempts. He only shrugged or ignored me when asked questions and refused to do his work. I began to wonder how he was going to manage when learning centers started.

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