Exactly one month ago today, I found myself trying to figure out exactly what my “SMART” story was about. I was in the final leg of my SMART exemplary educator application and I was completely drawing a massive blank. The only thing that I could think of were the “technical” reasons that I love SMART and since then, even long after my application has been submitted, I sometimes still ask myself, “Rafranz, what exactly is YOUR SMART story”. Well, yesterday it hit me like a ton of bricks.
The Back Story…
Every year there seems to be one kid…one who you MUST reach and work like crazy to do so. His first day of class, the very first thing that he said to me was, “Miss, I’m not doing no work”…and on that day he did not. I went home and did what I always do…brainstormed. What on earth could I possibly do to “win him over”? Volunteering was out of the question and when he did, it was to illustrate his knowledge of “eanie meanie minie moe”, which was quite interesting at times…but I still didn’t have him.
The Day “He” Met Smart Response: #WINNING =)
After all the thinking that I did, one may think that I planned this moment. I did not. Upon entering the room, I asked my “new “student” for his school id number. Of course, I could have looked it up, but it gave us a moment of conversation. I entered him into his class via teacher tools and showed him how to log in. Win#1: It Told Him Welcome!
We were entering opinion questions that day so students felt free to enter what they “thought” was the answer. Of course he started out using his usual guessing methods but soon he figured out one of the most amazing features of SMART response…He could enter the right answer and no one would know. Win #2: He Could Be Anonymously Smart!
Eventually, with SMART response, my student figured out what I knew all along…That he WAS SMART and the more correct answers that he got, the more confident he felt. What happened next nearly brought tears to my eyes…literally. He volunteered to go to the SMARTboard and work a problem…Not “eanie meanie minie moe”, but REAL WORK!
Win#3: Confidence in Math made him WANT to show what he knew
At the end of class, he stayed behind for a few minutes cleaning up around his desk. He waited until the very end and right before he left he gently put his SMART response clicker away. He turned to me and asked could we use those again. I told him yes…absolutely. He then told me that what he did in class was the most work that he had done in years and thank you. Win#4: Student Leaves Teacher Speechless
To say that day was the most amazing day EVER is a monumental understatement. Of course, we probably could have had the same outcome with any piece of technology or any subject that meant something to him, but at that moment on that day, my SMART response is what worked and I can’t see myself teaching another day without it.