This is Jamie
Jamie is a boy. He's a boy boy. He's 14 and getting a bit gangly after a recent growth spurt. He's energetic, he's rambunctious, he's a bit naughty, and he battles to sit still. Jamie has spirit. But Jamie also irritates some of his teachers, and he gets into a bit of trouble with them quite often. He doesn't always pay attention like he should, and of course he doesn't 'achieve to his ability'.
Jamie loves playing sport – mostly because he gets to get rid of a bit bit of energy. He loves football and swimming. Jamie also loves playing Minecraft on his computer, and he likes dubstep music. Jamie reads a lot of science fiction and fantasy novels.
Jamie loves to ask questions and to find out new stuff. He's interested in space and cars and animals. His hero is Elon Musk. Jamie's best friend is Scotty – whose real name is Benjamin, but who is called Scotty because his parents moved here from Scotland a few years ago.
Unfortunately, after a few too many letters from his teachers complaining about how Jamie is 'disruptive' and 'lacking in focus' and 'difficult to teach' and 'capable of better marks', Jamie's parents have decided to intervene. They have taken away his computer privileges, banned him from seeing Benjamin, pulled him from sport, and told him that he will only get to play again once he has learned to be more serious about his studies. They've told him he needs to sit still in class and be more compliant.
Now it's like a light has gone out in Jamie's eyes. He's become a little robot. Jamie isn't Jamie anymore. He isn't curious, he doesn't smile.
But he is doing much better at school. And his teachers all comment on how much easier he is to teach now.
(Please note that Jamie is an amalgam of many students – boys and girls- whom I and others have taught over many years at many different schools. You probably have your own Jamie. The point of this post is to try and encourage well-meaning parents and teachers to think differently about 'disruptive' and 'underachieving' students.)