Monday was the first meeting of my spring college class.
I was greeted outside the room with a big hug from a former student. After I signed her over count slip, she loudly told the class that I was a great teacher. In fact, she said she never had a teacher like Ms. Pissed Off before and has never had one since. She told everyone about how I called her mom and harassed her constantly. I told everyone not to worry. College teachers are not permitted to call parents.
When I got home, I went through all my old records until I found her. She was in my class way back in 1999. Here are her grades:
78, 75, 72, 66, 72, 59, 52, abs (final exam) 53 (regents) and 55 in the class.
The first thing I noticed when I looked up her grades was that she did not pass and she was still happy to have me as a teacher again. That made me feel really good. The next thing I realized is here is a kid that could not pass ninth grade math and was now sitting in a pre-calculus class. Some people really grow into education. From her work the first night, I would say that she is one of them and I have confidence that she will do very well this term.
So, all you teachers out there. Don't assume that a kid that is not succeeding now will never amount to anything. Don't assume that you have failed that kid just because the kid has failed your class. You are not a fortune teller and you have no idea what will happen in the future.