Many days I drive away from school, where I teach at risk teenagers, I sure that I am not getting through to the students and pretty sure that I am going to hand the reigns over to someone else next year. This week I had a couple of days that allowed me to doubt my ineffectiveness.
On Wednesday at the end of school, we had a meeting with Student B and his mom. Perfect Teacher was concerned because B's behavior had deteriorated over all since last year. I wanted to go because I wanted his mother to know that while he was a major pain in the behind, since we had changed his classes, he had greatly improved. Even earlier that day B came into class surly and definitely not in the mood to work. He sat quietly in to back and I gave him the day's handout and told him that as long as he was not disruptive I would let him be. He was fine with that, where as a few months ago he would have blown up and told me in no uncertain terms to get out of his face.
At the meeting, even before I had the change to tell his mother the positive changes, B said "Ms. H is my hommie. She just lets me be when I am up set." Unsolicited he called me his hommie! That has NEVER happened before with any student. The rest of the meeting was heart breaking. B's mother cried as she confessed that B has been acting disrespectfully at home and that B's parents do not know what to do with him. At one point B struggled to keep his composure stating, "You make me out to be America's Most Wanted!" We ended the meeting with B agreeing to meet once a week with the school counselor. I have a lot of hope for this kid. First of all he has parents who, though frustrated, care enough to come to school and talk, really talk. There are many parents we have begged to come meet with us, and we have never seen them. Secondly B's near tears shows that his heart hasn't hardened yet. So there is hope for B.
There was another thing that made Wednesday a good day. During the last period of the day Student J asked me a question. "Hey Ms H., how many kids did you have to send out today?" I actually had to take a moment and think about it for a minute before I told J that for the first time that year I did not have to send anyone out of class or give any detentions! Unfortunately Thursday more than made up for it, I reveled in the fact that Wednesday was a good day. Friday was pretty good, too. It was the end of the week, and nearing the end of the grading period, so I was creatively dry and had the kids work on vocabulary puzzles. But they had fun and were using the words, so who is anyone to judge.
Joie de Vivre ~ A Hearty Joy of Living!