Friday, January 06, 2006

someone should slap you

Parent meeting today with the family of the boy who told me this. Suspended for three days. Harsh, but if I even remotely thought he was a threat, it would be grounds for expulsion. He was just mad, saying things under his breath he wished I hadn't heard. Sometimes, though, you gotta cross that line and it opens everyone's eyes to finding out just what is going on in this kid's world. It's like sending up a flare.

Another such meeting yesterday (for an eighth grade girl who doesn't know what 2x6 is) turned out fantastically. The mother had been trying for years to get her daughter tested for a learning disability and met resistance, hostility, and plain silence from the administration. She came in for a meeting in September where two teachers didn't even show up; the psychologist never returned her phone calls; and when she found out the school had lost her daughter's cumulative record, she was livid (rightly so). With a little persuasion, she came in for another meeting with me, the VP, and the psychologist. I showed her the research-documented math interventions we're using, showed her samples of student work, and persuaded the psychologist to begin moving on the testing. In the middle of it the mother turns to me and says: "I know you care about my daughter. You call me, you understand her, you work hard to teach her. Are they going to keep you?" It made my day.

"At-risk" kids are so much fun to teach. They break your hearts, but every one of them is worth it ten times over.


Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I am honored to know you.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Aw, shucks.

7:10 PM  
Blogger speed_demon said...


Becoming a teacher is one of the hardest thing to do. First of all, in Canada at least, you've to grind through 4 years of college, plus an addition 1 year or so in related volunteer work, other courses and credentials.

Being a teacher is THE HARDEST thing to do. There're always unexpected surprises lurking everyday, ready to jump out and confront you. Not only that, you've to be a combination of all the general disciplines, including psychology, counseling, mathematician, histroian, scientist and an athlete, especially if you're a kindergarten teacher.

Being a high school teacher is even more stressful. With kids nowadays submerging themselves in every pop culture, sexual deviance, and societal problems. It is EVEN harder to teach the next generation. Needless to say, to instruct and guide them through the rebellious adolescense period.

You teachers are simply amazing.

Keep up the good works and look after our next generations!

Happy blogging!

3:16 AM  
Blogger James said...

Nice work. You're right about the at risk kids as well. It's harder, but so important.

4:48 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

*does a dance in his pants to celebrate how cool Jess is*

5:06 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

In times like those you almost forget all of the tears, frustration, anger (with the administration, and fear (for the children). Keep it u. You're one of the good ones.

8:18 AM  
Blogger mal said...

Neat! you are pushing their limits *S*. My OH is always complaining how hard it is to get the parents engaged It sounds you like you have working the other side of the issue.

Unless you want to come back to Minnesota, I hope they do keep you

2:00 PM  
Blogger Barnaby said...

Absolutely brilliant - I have always believed that good teachers deserve the most respect - I had a few that changed my life and it seems that you are the type of teacher who changes other peoples in more positive ways than you can imagine - what a feeling to bounce home on!

5:21 AM  

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