I caught Mickey trying to cheat on this week's exam. The first thing I did was move the girl he was cheating from away. I don't think she wanted to give him answers, but, Mickey can be a little frightening and she was probably afraid to say no. Then, instead of yelling at him and taking away his exam I sat next to him and said I was disappointed that he did not have enough confidence in himself to do the exam by himself. I told him that I watched him all week, saw his classwork and the problems he did at the board and I knew how good he was at the stuff we were doing. I kept pushing my belief in him and my belief that he failed in the past because he never really wanted to do well.
Instead of getting angry at being caught, he smiled at me and started working on his own.
I haven't looked at the exam yet, but I know he beat the 9 he got on the last test and he answered almost all the questions.
It's going to be a rough year with Mickey and I am still not sure how it will end up but for now, he is coming to class every day and on time. He's not working all period, but he is working and going to the board to do problems. And, I don't have to tell him to take his hat off anymore. I might actually succeed with this kid but I'm not getting my hopes up yet.