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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 10 2009

29 school days

Today I had a FML moment. I am teaching the warm-up and Mr. Garcia comes in late with Mr. Seymour. I immediately assume he was skipping and was caught and taken in, by the dean. I am angry. I try so hard with him. Why skip? We just had this big talk about working hard! We just made an agreement on how he was going to pass the TAKS! I am pissed. And I don’t even know why he’s late.Woof. I later find out he’s not skipping, but just got in trouble with the dean for something from last period, science.

As I am reviewing the lesson, I notice his head is down. Since I have a strict rule about no heads on the desk, I come over to him, pull on his hoodie and tell him to stand up, he lost his seat. Except, I say it angrily. :( I make him go stand in the corner, until we could talk.

Once I finally get the class started in some independent pracitce, I go over to him. He has tears all in his eyes. (Note this a huge kid who is known for being “bad” and “not caring.”)
“Ms. Baldwin, I’m sorry I put my head down. I wasn’t sleeping or anything. I just didn’t want anyone to see me cry.” Tear rolls down cheek.

“What? What’s wrong?”

Begins to cry. Puts head in hands. Fists are tightly clenched and more tears start to stream down as he pounds his fist in his face. I gently pull down his hand and rubb his back, trying to console him. Other students are looking, shocked.

“What’s wrong?” I ask again.

“I am kicked out. I am sent to CEP [behavior-kids school, where they have a 0% passing rate of TAKS. Seriously].”

My heart sinks. That’s it. He’s done. Shit. I’ve tried so hard, and he’s getting better…and…and…I have hope for him. Ugh!

I felt so defeated, the way you feel after typing a paper all night and your computer crashes before you save.

He cried for awhile. He told me that he was sorry. He told me that he didn’t care about CEP, I don’t think he does, but he is very upset about his mom. She is pregnant (15 days until due date) and she told him she can’t handle any more stress. He loves his mom, and he disapointed her.

Lessons to be learned? I’m not sure. You can’t win them all? Don’t be so quick to decide what students are doing?

I’ve already seen so much turn around with him. Eff.

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    Closing the Math Gap in HTOWN

    Middle School

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