Thursday, October 08, 2009

I Feel Good

Micky comes to school because it is a condition of his probation. He is not interested in math or in anything school has to offer, only that attending keeps him free.

Since motivation is my strongest asset, I decided to give Mickey a try. While the class was taking an exam last week, I noticed Mickey folding his into an airplane. Instead of yelling at him, I sat next to him, put the pen in his hand and told him I believed the pen would work better. I got no response. I then asked him about some of his piercings. He has quite a few of them, one on his eyebrow. I asked him if brain matter seeped out when they made the hole. He laughed, the class laughed and told me I had some lame jokes. But, he started working on the exam. Now, I am not getting too excited. He only answered 4 questions, but all four were correct. I stood over him as he worked and praised every correct answer and even did my little happy dance once. It wasn't a lot, but it was a start. He was absent yesterday (visit to his probation officer) but he came in today and he did about 20 minutes worth of work. Still, not good, but we are getting there. I also no longer have to ask him to remove his hat and he has stopped asking for the bathroom pass.

The odds are against Mickey making it in this class (or in any class.) Mr. AP would call me failure because regents grades are all that matter to him. But, getting Mickey to do this little bit of work felt good to me and I know Mickey felt good doing it. My little success can't be measured by a test score but if I helped one more child become a little less hostile and a little more open to education, I did my part and I feel good about what I did.


Noel said...

That's beautiful. A very nice vignette demonstrating what real care and compassion look like. It's teaching from the heart. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

It's the little steps that matter.


kissmyISS said...

I am sure Mr AP wouldn't appreciate it. Dont turn your back on Principal Hula either!

Pissedoffteacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claus von Zastrow said...

A poignant on-the-ground reminder of the small victories that don't show up in accountability reports. Congratulations.

May these small victories continue to add up into big victories.