Monday, February 21, 2011
The Story of Michael
From Day One, Michael was a pain in the butt. He came late, came unprepared (Remember the kid who came to the exam without a pencil? That was darling Michael.), slept in class, asked to go to the bathroom and would be gone for 30 minutes, disrupted class and never turned in any work. I was about to write him off. I finally called Michael's mother and told her he was in danger of failing. She told me that Michael was doing poorly in all of his classes and she was at her wit's end. Shortly after that, I held a Writer's Workshop after school so students could rewrite their essays for a higher grade. I worked with Michael and he ultimately earned an A for his work. Michael had extra time, so he decided to write his book report that was due the previous week. Between these two grades, Michael passed for the nine weeks and I made a huge deal over how proud of him I was, how smart he was, what a good writer he was, etc.
Michael became a different person. Michael now shows up on time, ready to go. He participates in class and turns in his work on time. He is a model student. In fact, he is even being ribbed a bit for trying to be the "teacher's pet". I am beyond delighted. The best part is that I received a note from Guidance last week saying that Michael's mother wanted to speak with me. When I called, I told her that Michael had made an amazing turnaround and now has a B+ in my class! She said "Wow, you know, he told me that and I didn't believe him based on his grades in the previous two nine weeks." That's a change--me telling the parent how great the kid is and the parent not believing me!