While most of my kids are actually pretty good, I have one that makes me want to pull my hair out. Literally. He is a suicidal, manic depressive eighth grader with straight F's who has already been suspended three times this year for fighting and coming to school high. Oh, he also hates his parents vehemently, lies continually, and cheats flagrantly. He's a real peach.
So you might be thinking that this post should be entitled "Why I hate teaching" . . . Not so. Working with him every afternoon has given me the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the sweet, funny, real Quinn underneath all of the "issues." This is certainly the exception and not the norm, but I love when it happens.
He came in on Thursday determined to be a butt head. He hadn't done any of the make-up work he was supposed to, got kicked out of his dad's house, and was suspended for the third time. I braced myself for a torturous hour of forcing him to do history worksheets one problem at a time. Then, while perusing his lengthy list of missing assignments, I came upon an assignment to write a love sonnet. I couldn't resist. Even though he looked at me like, "You can't be serious," I persisted. By the end of the hour, we were cracking up and having a genuinely great time together.
Want to see the finished result? It may not have ten syllables per line or keep the same tense throughout, but I am proud of him. I think it is pretty darn clever!
My Love Sonnet
My true love has hair like silk,
I love to see it blow in the breeze.
It's black as night and white as milk,
I love to see you play among the trees.
I love how you have so much energy,
You can always make me smile.
The sight of you fills my soul with glee,
I can't stand not to see you for awhile.
You are a shining star.
Just to see you makes me weep.
Without you I would probably be stuck at some bar.
I love it when you chase sheep . . .
Of all the things that are precious to me,
I could never survive w/o* my border collie.
*Yes, his final draft said w/o :)
And that is why I love being a teacher! Days like that make all the crappy days worth it.