Thursday, March 3, 2016

{solsc} 3/31 #sol16 "Those Kids"


I admit to being worried about "those kids", the ones in the credit recovery class I didn't intend to teach. How would they handle a new sub the first time I was gone?

I shouldn't have worried.

We have built a community, a family, a tribe.  I respect them. They respect me.

We had a conversation the first day of class in January. Why did they hate English? Why did they fail the first time?

They were honest and thoughtful. They took the blame for some things. They explained why they didn't always get things done and handed in. They acknowledged that the reason some teachers don't like them is partly their fault. The power of conversation is important.

They all have reputations...druggie, skipper, lazy, teacher hater.

One of "those kids" is the best big brother I have ever seen. He truly loves his younger siblings and will do anything for them. He was the first one who answered the question, "Why don't you behave like this in other classes?"

Another is a car engine prodigy. He missed school one day last week. When he came the next day, he explained that he decided to tear the engine out of a car before school. He fully intended to clean up and come. But he just got involved. And then, before he knew it, he was late. So he stayed home. He'd rather work on the car.

One is a reader. And she reads a lot. She just doesn't like reading "stupid stories" and answering all those questions.  But she will read big books that intimidate the others.  She really appreciates the small class size and takes me up on "you can come and talk to me anytime". With a little attention, she is thriving.

A concussion last year sidelined another of them. She got so far behind that she just gave up. So she comes to class every day and sits by herself. But she does the work and will regain her credit. This one is hard for me to get close to. She doesn't open up and talk like the others, even though I've had her in class before.

The last was my hardest to understand. He was the teacher hater. He didn't talk much at first. He listened to the others and took my measure. In the beginning, I would give him "the eye" when he gave a little attitude. I don't have to do that anymore. He may be the kindest of them all. He's always the first to volunteer to help with math homework on days I give them time to work on any class they need to.  Today, I found out he wants to be an engineer.

So twice today, once when I read my sub's notes and once when and administrator came in and asked if I was having any trouble--behavior wise or attendance wise--with any classes. I said no--my classes are amazing.  "Not even with the credit recovery class?"

Nope. Not even with "those kids".  My favorite class. My tribe.

13 comments:

  1. You have taken time to learn their stories and meet them where they are. How lucky these kids are to have you in their lives.

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  2. You have taken time to learn their stories and meet them where they are. How lucky these kids are to have you in their lives.

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  3. Love, love, love how you write about our kids. We are so lucky to spend time with them every day. And they are so blessed with you as their teacher. Thank you for this post!

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  4. You know your kids, you took the time to do this...that's what building a community is all about.

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  5. You know your kids, you took the time to do this...that's what building a community is all about.

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  6. Lucky kids to have you to see and accept them as they are!

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  7. Once again you have shown what a special person you are to your kids. Thanks for sharing those kids with us.

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  8. Those kids are lucky to have you, Deb! Community is exactly what they need, just like my sweet ELLs! I hope you get to teach that class again next year!

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  9. Love how you talk about your kids! You are both so lucky to have time together this year!

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  10. Love how you talk about your kids! You are both so lucky to have time together this year!

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  11. What a sweet and loving post. Not surprised Deb. You know those kids, and love them as they are.

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  12. Those kids are my favorites too. Love the structure of this piece, how you share the back stories that allow us to look past the problem surface to the people with hopes, dreams, and gifts.

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