Worth the Effort

A student's accident prompted my little rant today.  She's not a bad kid (and really, no one has said she is), but the first comment I heard from someone today was "I wonder if she'd been drinking?"  It kind of rankled me and it got me thinking about the double standard we apply to kids.

We get a little jaded in education.  We sometimes think we have it all figured out.  We think we know just how to reach kids. We think we know which ones are the "good" kids and worth the effort and we think we know which ones are the "bad" kids and we should just write them off.

Kids don't change, you see. Kids don't grow up and mature. Kids don't realize they need to step up.

The "good" kids,

  • the ones worth the effort, 
  • the ones that would never cheat 
  • the ones that would never party on a Saturday night
  • the ones that make us think school is their number one priority
if something happens to one of them, everyone is is a tizzy.  The whole school would be on alert.
  • "Oh, the poor parents."
  • "What can we do to help?"
  • "I wonder what happened?"
But, the "bad" kids,
  • the ones not worth the effort
  • the ones that do whatever it takes to get through school because no one cares
  • the ones that let loose on Saturday night
  • the ones that let us know school is not the top thing on their list 
when something happens to them, the first words spoken are, "I wonder if he was drinking?  She must have been partying somewhere. Great. Now they'll be behind again." No one considers that they might have just been driving down the road.

let's not forget, that those "bad" kids, the ones not worth the effort, the ones that people write off, they are someone's kid. Someone loves them. Someone was scared senseless with a late night phone call. Someone thinks they are worth the effort.

And they are.


  1. And thank you for saying what shouldn't have to be said.

  2. Yup, not cool. I think of that every time I see a young person on TV that has messed up somehow...that is someone's kid - someone who is heartsick right now.

  3. That sure is someone's kid... you made her YOUR kid by advocating for her in this forum.

  4. Oh, goosebumps -- I so agree with you! Everyone is looking to blame or find an excuse, but in the end, no matter the kid, they are someone's kid. They are kids making their way through this difficult world, learning from their mistakes, looking for guidance and support wherever they can -- and the teachers should be there no matter what to accept the fault in our stars. Makes me think of Auggie in Wonder: "Everyone deserves a standing ovation." Not that we are celebrating accidents or poor choices, but that we need to stand up because as you say all kids are worth the effort.

    Thanks for your rant today. You speak from the heart.

  5. Thank you Deb. I just wish everyone, especially those working with kids, would give them the benefit of the doubt first. You've said it so well about those who do not.

  6. I appreciate how you are always making us stop and think about the other side. These are the words I wanted, but just couldn't seem to get out last week. Thanks for writing.


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