Every time I think there have been gains made, it seems like a game of 2 steps forward and 1 step back. For example, one of my students had been behaving so much better, and seemed to really want to improve. When he heard I was getting my master’s degree, he quickly updated his big goal to include getting his master’s too. Then he kicked a desk and called me a b**** on his way out the door on Thursday. A day of suspension later, I shared with the class that when you get PhD degree you can publish your own books at college. I saw him furiously erasing at the big goal card on his desk, and I thought he was tearing it up because he was mad. I looked at his card after school and saw that he had updated his goal, yet again, to include a PhD degree. I nearly cried because I was so happy that he wants to improve and shoot for the stars.
My students are more well-behaved than other classes, but that simply isn’t enough. They are too far behind to be marginally better than other dismal classes. I vow to push through this week and week 6 with a renewed energy and commitment to changing the life trajectory of these kids. They deserve it, and I know I can do it.