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November 30, 2011
Teaching English in New Orleans. A good friend is someone who doesn't smoke, who has a car, and who is pregnant.

Snapshot of a typical class: this is evidence of a thesis statement formula followed exactly. So proud.

One of my students had a break down a few weeks ago. He normally comes to school stoned, so by the afternoon he crashes. This particular day’s crash was bad, and it involved the principal giving him one of those speeches. I followed up to have a nice, restorative conversation with him about leadership. I helped him see that he could lead the class to greatness if he wanted to, or that he could lead the class to being a drop out statistic if he so chose.

Ever since then, this student has crushed it. He does all his homework, and does it well. He raises his hand. He works like crazy, and is so proud of himself. And I am so proud of him.

Today he came up to me at the beginning of class and told me, sheepishly, that he didn’t do his homework last night. He had too many things going on. This is an excuse I get a lot. Sometimes they don’t do it because it’s raining, which is a lot. At least they’re honest.

After I ask him if he’s going to bring it in tomorrow, he nods his head in shame, and turns to sit down. He then pulls out his completed homework, unfolds it (yes, homework is often in their pockets), waves it in the air, catches my eye and utters proudly, “Psych.” He grins bigger than any other child, eyes crinkled, slowly, beaming. These are the days.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate Brennan permalink
    December 1, 2011 10:04 am

    One child at a time Sunny! Good work!

  2. December 10, 2011 12:31 am

    i absolutely think this is one of the best stories i’ve ever heard. i have tears of joy! gosh, i really have a lump in my throat about how proud i am of him! 1. for doing his work and 2. for getting you! i bet he will never forget it!!!!
    as for you, when can i get “a nice, restorative conversation with me about leadership.” ??

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