Friday, September 05, 2014
In my afternoon class, one girl got pretty upset about this. She asked me to send her to the dean. "Do you know the deans?" I asked. She said, "No. I'm just always friendly with the deans." "But I have no reason to send you there," I said. She said, "Just tell them I made a lot of trouble." "I don't do that," I told her. I told her I would get her out, that it could take a few days, and that she didn't have to do the homework if she didn't want to.
I tried calling some people who weren't there, and I even tried sending her down to the overwhelmed guidance department, but no one could help her yesterday. In my class we were doing interviews after I drilled them in the questions they would need. The girl was bored out of her mind as we modeled the questions. She tried to sit in the back and I dragged her back up front. She put her head down for a moment to see if I'd scream at her to pick it up.
But a while later, another girl came in, a girl who could barely squeak out a word of English. By then I was introducing the interviews. I asked if she could help the shy new girl and my sullen student smiled and said, "What a great way to make friends."
She helped the newcomer, who got through the assignment. She asked if I would give her a good grade if she did it too. I said sure I would. Then she asked if that grade would follow her to a new class. I told her I was sorry but I didn't think so. Then she asked me why I couldn't just lie to her. I told her I could, but that it wouldn't change anything.
Then kids started writing a paragraph about their partners, I walked around correcting things, and I gave them the unspeakable assignment of rewriting the paragraph.
But the best thing that happened to me yesterday was seeing that girl come to life. I hope to see a lot of that this year.