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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 06 2009

So this is a rant.

One of my favorite students, C, was walking down the hallway during class by himself.

“Hi Miss B.”

“Hi. What are you doing in the hallway?”

“Miss **** kicked me out.”

I went on to have a conversation with C, as he was visibly upset. This same teacher had failed him the previous marking period, and he wasn’t sure why, as he had never failed or missed an assignment in her class. When I asked C if he was doing his work in class, he told me that he did. I asked what the assignment was, and he said to write 15 sentences. On anything. I won’t even go into why this is a ridiculous thing to tell a 10th grader to do. He told me that after that, they had free time (normally, I would doubt a student on this, but I know this particular teacher doesn’t teach on Fridays…ugh).

C told me he wrote his sentences then went on the NBA web site. Ms. **** came over and yelled at him for not finishing his work. He showed her the work. She walked to her desk and wrote him a pass (that he didn’t ask for) to another teacher’s room. Hence, C wondering the halls.

I told C that it didn’t seem fair. He said he didn’t know what to do. I told him it wasn’t right, then stepped into an office to finish some photocopying. I returned to my classroom to teach my next class.

About 5 minutes later, C appeared at the door, looking defeated. He sat down at the front of the room and told me again that he doesn’t know what to do. I asked him if he could have a parent come in to talk to her. He said his mom wants to come in, but she has work all day, and he doesn’t have anyone else.

It seems as though some teachers do not realize the impact their unwelcoming attitudes can have on students. Especially students like this one- who are here every day, participating in sports, want to (and can) go to college, and are doing their best to study and get their work done. This student likely goes to school, practice, and home to an empty house. He has only missed two days of school this entire year (he has better attendance than I do).

I understand that I don’t have both sides of the story, but C is not the first student I have seen Miss **** treat this way. Now, to say something or to keep the peace?

One Response

  1. #1fan

    I am sure you will figure out the best way to handle this situation. Right now the best thing is that he feels he can come to you. Just another sign that you continue to have a positive influence on these kids.
    I would also like to say….IT’S ABOUT TIME YOU WROTE ON HERE AGAIN!
    YIPEEEE!

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Just another Teach For America blog

Region
Greater Philadelphia
Grade
High School
Subject
Science

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