∆ Jackson

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 11 2013

Doing something right

Today was…less than perfect.  I mean, not terrible, but seriously not good either.

BUT.  One student of mine who consistently misses my first block class because he never gets to school on time came to me today and we had a really serious conversation about where he wants his life to go and how he will get there.  And I told him I would give him my alarm (because I’m not using anymore) and that he needed to be to school early every day.  I told him it was my alarm from college and I don’t really need it anymore and he said, “Okay, and I’ll take it with me when I go to college.”  And I smiled and thought to myself how much I hope and pray that a college will look past his poor attendance and see his potential and see that he oversleeps because he is out working every night because now that he is 18 he is responsible for feeding himself.  And wherever he goes, I hope that pink alarm clock with the multi-colored numbers wakes him up for his 8am classes.

AND.  I had a student who, until about Tuesday of last week, literally did nothing in my class.  He put his head down, I would wake him up multiple times, ask him to take notes.  He was sweet, he was respectful, but he never did anything.  He didn’t even take his final Semester Exam (and several other exams) last semester.  I’m talking, wrote his name on it and turned it in blank.  Tuesday, his head was up.  Progress.  Thursday, he came in and said, “Hey Ms K!” and gave me a high five.  He proceeded to take his midterm assessment and did not score great on it, but passed with almost a C.  I mean, that’s kind of awesome for someone who has never taken notes before.  And then today, he greeted me again, did his Catalyst, took his notes, and completed (most of) his classwork.  And he asked me if he could stay after school and I could help him prepare for his ASVAB, so of course I said yes.  And that made me smile.

FINALLY.  One of my Physics students who feels like giving up on high school, but yet knows he can’t because he wants to go to a good out of state school (and let me tell you, he is plenty smart enough) said to me, “I have to thank you, Ms K, because I was taking the ACT on Saturday and there was a Physics question on there and I knew it right away.”  I’m all smiles as I tell him I’m glad he remembered.

So, I guess, even though my 2nd block has bad attitudes and my 4th block was so out of control talking that I assigned them all individual work, as a punishment, instead of the group project I had planned…. I must be doing something right.  At least sometimes.

4 Responses

  1. Cioci Amy

    Ronnie, Here is a book we have at the library that includes great colleges that will give less-than-stellar-yet-promising-students a chance at a college education: Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges by Loren Pope & Hilary Masell Oswald. There are schools out there for your students.

  2. Ann Marie

    Your stories are inspirational. I find myself hanging on every word!

  3. Mom

    left speechless again

  4. Teri Keefer

    Ronnie, you are awesome! I am so proud of you!!

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