I was watching a piece on the news the other day about how many summer school classrooms are not air-conditioned (despite, naturally, the DOE's claims to the contrary). This past week was a hot one here in NYC, with two consecutive days over 100 degrees and the rest of the week well into the 90s. I give kudos to the students and teachers who gave it their best shot this past week. I would not have wanted to do so.
But that's not the whole story, not for me. While watching the piece on the news, I realized that one of the students they were interviewing was a former student of mine. I was shocked, and not pleasantly so. This young lady was, when I taught her, very bright, but also somewhat mercurial. She'd been through a lot in her young life, and her academic performance was variable and unpredictable. I tried hard to keep her focused when I had her, and when she got into a nice high school, I was happy.
Two years later, though, she's in summer school. Real summer school. For kids who fail a class. And there's no good reason this young lady should be failing anything.
I hope she's all right. Maybe one isolated incident made her miss a lot of school and she just couldn't catch up. Maybe she's run into one subject giving her a really hard time. But I'm going to try to find her old e-mail address and see if I can get in touch. Summer school usually isn't a good sign.