Monday, April 02, 2012

Intervening Parents

Mrs. Curtis glided into the Homework Helpers room, her white dress and long braids flowing behind her.  She found me asked me for her son Isiah.  At that time I had no idea who Isiah was and told her.  She told me her son had told her he would be attending tutoring.  She thanked me for my time and promised Isiah would be there for the next session.

The next day a tall, good looking African American male approached me in the hall and introduced himself as Isiah.  He told me his mom told him to find me and he would be coming to Homework Helpers from now on.  I said, okay, see you there and went on to my class.

Sure enough Isiah showed up at the next session and so did his mother.  She wanted to make sure he made it and was there working.  I, in turn, always helped him or found him someone to work with.   Isiah continued coming, continued working and passed math and the regents that term.  His mom continued dropping in from time to time to check up on him.

Isiah was the third of four siblings to attend Packemin and he was the most difficult.  Mrs. Curtis knew her son wasn't like her other children and needed extra prodding and pushing to get him to succeed.  She was constantly coming to school and calling his teachers and counselors.  She made sure he stayed current in all his classes and continued to pass exams.

Isiah graduated high school but had no interest in attending college.  He got himself a job as a truck driver and last I heard he was doing very well.  He was also considering returning to school.  His success is not due to me, or any other teacher (although we did help him) but to his supportive parents.  Curtis was in the school band and on performance night his family filled up an entire row cheering him on.  They did the same for his younger sister.  When the sister was about to start at Packemin, the family left nothing to chance and Mr. Curtis made an appointment with a counselor at the end of June to ensure her a good program.

Families like the Curtis' are the reason a kid like Isiah succeeded.  All the teacher phone calls in the world wouldn't have helped if he didn't have such caring, involved parents, parents who supported him and helped him find himself.

1 comment:

ChiTown Girl said...

And yet they want to base our pay on our students' success, because apparently, we are SOLELY responsible!! Ugh!