Monday, March 10, 2014

A heavy heart today

I got a new student midway into the second quarter.  He is an "at risk" student.  He has been in a lot of trouble but I don't really know the details.  I must admit when he walked in my door with his pants hanging low and tattoos all over his arms I was a bit uneasy.

I soon discovered that he was very polite and attentive in class.  The first time I emailed him back a digital assignment with comments for improvement, he emailed me right back asking if he could improve it.  Yes!

Then the day before his first quiz he stopped by to ask me questions concerning the quiz concepts.  He really wanted to do well!  When he missed a question, he wanted to know why he missed it and how he could be better.

The last few days, this student has been missing from my class.  Today I asked one of his friends if he was absent again.  His friend replied, "Yes, and he's not coming back...he went to Mexico."

My heart sunk.  "Why did he go back to Mexico?  He was doing so well."

"I know but he made a bad decision and he's in trouble now."  His friend said.

I went to talk to the principal about this.  She said that the rumor is that he went back to Mexico.  The problem is that this breaks his probation.

I am saddened by this.  My heart is heavy.  He was doing so well in my class and other classes too.  I know that he could have been successful!  What can educators do to help "at-risk" students see their potential?


  1. I can totally relate to your story! I work in an alternative program and stories like these are unfortunately the norm rather than the exception in my classrooms. I've been working in my location for 3 years now and every time a student overdoses, goes back to jail, or gets shot my hear sinks because I feel like we lost another one. It's always the ones that are showing the most promise! It sounds like you're a very caring teacher and like you I've been searching for that answer, unfortunately once they leave our care they are back in the environment that sometimes is to their detriment. I hope you can find comfort in knowing that you helped him while he was with you and that hopefully he will find his way.

  2. Wow--you have captured such struggles in this short post. What a tough cycle he is in and SO sad and frustrating for you and others who are trying to help him break it. I'm sorry-