I am guilty in the past of complaining about students.

One student, Mike, caused much complaining in the lounge. After “talking” about what he would not do, I pulled him aside, “What’s wrong? I believe in YOU!” With tears in his eyes, he said, “I can’t read”. I was devastated.

Venting is healthy, but we have to be more intentional to be a part of the solution by moving from conversation to action:

  1. Self-Evaluation: I had to realize that as I was pointing the blame at this student for being apathetic, I had to realize that I had a part in this as well. I had to ask myself have I done everything I can do to ensure this student’s success?
  2. Create a plan: After I looked within, I had to develop a plan for Mike by identifying where his greatest need was.
  3. Build a team: I met with Mike’s parents and the other teachers on his grade level. We all committed to do everything we needed to do to make sure that he would be successful.

Mike became an advanced reader and graduated. Through this experience, I realized that we make a difference for children by moving from conversation to action, creating a plan, and building a team.

Kelisa Wing is the Assistant Principal at West Point Elementary School in West Point, NY. She is a 2016 ASCD Emerging Leader and the 2017 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year. She is an Army veteran and a proud graduate of the University of Maryland University College and the University of Phoenix where she earned her Educational Specialist degree.

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Kelisa Wing

Kelisa Wing

Assistant Principal

Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.

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