Nathan is one of those kids that when he sees you coming, visibly his walls go up. Normally, he’ll become too cool for the games, become defiant, and he will actively try to derail the lesson. For some reason, though, Nathan always says, “bye” and, “see you next week.” It is now nearing the end of the school year, and cracks are beginning to form in those seemingly impenetrable walls.
Two weeks ago Nathan shoved a picture at me with the grunt, “see, I told you I was a good artist.” True to his word the picture was very well done nature scene. It was an awesome drawing. The cracks in his wall were becoming more and more visible.
Nathan cares what I think of him. My opinion has value.
It was last week, however, that caught me off guard. Another student was struggling to get a spark with a flint and steel, and Nathan started by telling her to hold her hand differently. Then he comes up and positions her hands in a better position while showing her how to strike the flint. The student he helped was the youngest in the club and was ready to give up, but Nathan convinced her to try again and again until she was able to get the spark. The other club members were even caught off guard with how he was helping.
We all watched as Nathan realized he has more to share of himself than being the trouble maker.