Saturday, May 30, 2009

Watching Them Shine

I love going to school events that have absolutely nothing to do with academics. Seeing my students shine outside the classroom is a wonderful feeling.

L is a majorette. Until the concert, I only knew her as the quiet little girl who liked and did well in calculus and was always willing to help others. Boy, can she move out there! This shy girl is not so shy with that flag in her hand.

R is in my geometry class. It has been a real struggle to get him to class, but I do get him into my room every day. Getting him to do any work is another story, but at least he is there and is on the way. Seeing him with his saxophone really warmed my heart. Here is something that interests him and that he is good at. I was bopping along with him and I knew he was happy to see me smiling at his performance.

Some people would remove R from the marching band based on his academics. I am conflicted as to what he right thing to do is. If R were removed from the one thing he loves in school, he might stop attending all together. I do believe in consequences for his actions but kicking out of the band would probably do more harm than good.

J was in my Math A class a few years ago. I can honestly say he might have been one of the most dysfunctional kids I ever taught and one of the few that I could not pass. He did not even come close to passing the regents. He was supposed to be on medication (which he did not take) and he was just one step away from being in a self contained environment. I lost track of J after the term ended and haven't seen him, except for an occasional hall passing until last night. It was great seeing J successful. He beat his drums and marched with the rest. No one watching would ever have imagined the troubles he had academically and socially.

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