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Reason 1,000,000 why I love my job - The whisper in your sighs

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October 24th, 2012

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07:39 pm - Reason 1,000,000 why I love my job
I have a student, Thomas, who I first taught in 7th grade. In 7th grade, he was immature and goofy, but a sweet kid. He was clearly very talented at math, although he wasn't very focused in school. His older brother was in 8th grade, and he was a major behavior issue (drugs, fights, etc.) and he eventually got expelled. Thomas' older brother later that year was arrested and convicted of attempted murder. He is currently serving a fifteen year sentence in jail.

I then moved up from the middle school to the high school in my building. Thomas became a high school student at my school, and so I put him in my class again for 9th grade Algebra, because I knew he was a great kid, but struggled with behavior with some teachers. At the beginning of his 9th grade year, he missed weeks and weeks of school. Desperate to get this amazing kid to school, I reached out to one of his former teachers who I noticed was his facebook friend (I don't friend students on facebook). I asked her if she could reach out to him to get him to come to school. She did, and he started attending school more regularly, but he ended up failing three classes, missed 30+ days of school and had to repeat his freshmen year. He wasn't sure if he was going to come back the next year because he was embarrased to repeat, but we convinced him to stay.

His second year at freshmen year was better, although not stellar. His behavior improved, but he continued to not complete homework consistently, and still did not do very well on assessments. He would try to stay after school to complete work because his home is so chaotic that he cannot concenrate, but then one day he got jumped and robbed, and he no longer stayed. He made it through his freshmen year, but it was not a resounding success.

He is now a sophomore. He came in this year very focused and has stayed after school with us EVERY SINGLE DAY. He has been engaged in class. The first quarter just ended, and his GPA is a 3.5 -- which qualifies him for Dean's list. He is one of the top performing students in the class.

Every time I look at his GPA, I want to cry with happiness. His life continues to be challenging, but he has demonstrated such resiliency, and I can see his future. He can go to college, get out of Chicago, and change the lives of his family. The trajectory of his life has changed. I can only pray (even though I am not religious nor do I believe in God) that he does well.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(1 comment | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 6th, 2012 03:11 am (UTC)
I like that you have 1,000,000 reasons to love your job. It's a lot harder to "like" things on livejournal, isn't it? The things we take for granted...

Anyway, this story is inspirational and great, and I hope your other 999,999 reasons are as good.


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