On my lunch break, I received an unexpected call from a former colleague what I taught with in my first couple years of teaching. I hadn't wished this teacher a happy new year just yet, so It was excited that I was going to have that chance to reconnect. The voice I heard when I answered was not the voice of a +50 year old, decades long veteran of Dallas ISD.
The voice was of a student I had a couple of years ago that REALLY made my life difficult. I've looked through my blogs from that year to try and find some accounts of this student's behavior. It got much worse right around the time we started this blog. The student's behavior became so disruptive that the other students would lock this student out of the classroom. They would literally send the student to get them water, take my keys, and lock the door. I was cursed out by this student. I was called into conferences. We did the whole process trying to help this student.
When we talked with the parent and grandparent, we got nothing in the way of help, but some valuable information. Having a a ton of siblings, all with different fathers that are involved with the exception of this student's could be part of it. Having a sick mother could be another. Frequent suspensions could also play a role. Regardless, nothing we did helped...immediately.
Now the student is back in the same class because of a lack seat time despite passing.
Change and growth are hard. They also take time. Certainly we have seen that with our own district. The purpose of the call was first to blame me for this now senior being in a sophomore class. The second part was this student letting me know that they were "good now" and that they hoped I came to graduation because they miss me and appreciate me working with them and trying to help.
Was it all sincere? I certainly hope so. It felt real. Regardless, it was nice to hear and I told this student that I was very proud at their growth. This is what I hope for all of our students that are struggling. It's never too late for redemption. I will be at graduation and I hope this student is there too.
What a way to start 2017!
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