By changing my mindset, I began to approach all students, in all cases, as if they needed help to meet expectations. I started to believe that kids would do well, if they had the skills to do so. When a student wasn’t getting started on an assignment, I would approach them and ask questions like: “Is everything okay?”, “It looks like you’re having trouble getting started, do you have any questions?”, “Let me sit with you and help you get started.” I completely stopped assuming students were just refusing to do their work.
Really good post from Mike Kelly.
I did something radical when I became the principal at KMS: I let the high school take full time an "In-School Suspension Aide" that we had previously shared part time. There was a small uproar, but that decision forced us to ask if students should be sent from class. Looking at the logs, we saw that many students were sent down to the office for things like not having a pencil. This year, we are dealing those issues by giving kids pencils, just like Mike did in his post.
Changing mindsets is incredibly powerful. Melinda Miller calls it assuming good intentions. However you call it, making sure kids know you're there to help and serve them is important.