Heat and lack of cooking interest brought us to our favorite pizza place for dinner tonight--Gaby's, where I not only had the best pizza around, I met, Tendy, a former student. Tendy is not just any former student, Tendy was in the class that drove me to my sabbatical.
Tendy's class was ninth and tenth grades who were grouped together for math and science (and most of their other classes as well) because they were very far below grade level. Needless to say, the class was difficult to handle. Usually the teachers that taught this particular group volunteered to teach them. I was not a volunteer. I spent hours calling parents, even calling from the class while the kids were present. I even had Suit (he was the AP at the time and the program was his brain child) come speak to them. They were worse for him than they were for me.
Back to Tendy. She was standing at the counter and recognized me immediately. She was wearing scrubs and looked quite grown up. She told me she worked in a cardiologist's office, making appointments and writing prescriptions. She also told me she had an Associates Degree from a local junior college and planned on continuing in a four year college in January. She told me she came a long way from the pesky child she was in high school and then told me how I always got her in trouble. I reminded her that she got herself in trouble and she laughed.
Tendy is now 22 years old. The little pain in the ass child who could barely pass anything has made it. She is not the only one from that class that came out fine either. I met one working in triage in St. Francis Heart Hospital, and another working in American Girl on Fifth Ave. It feels good to see them now. I love it when they greet the teacher who made their lives miserable with smiles and hugs. I love it when they tell me how happy their moms will be that they ran into me.
I have never written a child off because of what they did or did not do in high school. None of us ever should.