Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Magic of a Phone Call Home

Yesterday, he wore saggy jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt and pulled it over his head every time he felt like being a punk (which was often). He teased Kelly, mocking her "lazy r's," echoing every word she said (in a sing-songy voice), including, "Please will you stop saying that!" Yesterday, he continually called me "Hey You" and "Mrs.Watchyacallit," and he laughed out loud (hard) every time another student made a mistake, refusing to stop, even though I took him out in the hall and tried to reach him. This new boy, who is a fish out of water in our school, vacillates between his happy-go-lucky face and his "see if I care!" face. Yesterday, I followed through on my threat to write a referral. Filling it out, I asked him for his homeroom teacher's name. His cocky reply: "Find out yourself." "Do you think I care? That's my second one today!" Yesterday, he threw the referral in the garbage and refused to do an ounce of work.

Today, this same boy, wearing a shirt with a collar and sincere eyes, came to me right at the start of class and humbly said, "I want to apologize for my behavior yesterday." Today, he sat right down and started to work. He called me Mrs.4444, M'am, and said "Thank you for your help, Teacher." Today, when Kelly came in and took a seat far away from him, I told her she could not sit there (we have assigned seats). She said, "But I want to be far away from him, so he doesn't tease me," He offered somberly, "You don't have to sit over there. I'm not going to tease you anymore." Today, he worked very hard to learn how to multiply double digits. He politely asked for my help, waited for his turn quietly, and showed appreciation. He only laughed one time, and it was appropriate.

I love it when parents listen, care, and follow through. It can make a world of difference.


  1. Wow that is awesome!
    One would think he's a different kid altogether.

  2. Woah! What a 360! I wish they were all that easy to "fix." I hope the positive attitude continues!

  3. Yeah, it's shocking. It just goes to show that he is capable and was testing (me and his parent) to see what would happen. This boy is from a big city; we are a tiny town. I'm sure he feels out of sorts here, but he really could not have landed in a better place. If he can learn to open his heart to us, we will definitely fill it. :)

  4. he's lucky to have someone who wants to help him. so many times kids don't have that in their lives.

  5. I know that when a parent supports and works with the teacher things are completed much quicker and quite frankly better. I wish all parents would support the teachers that really care. Nice job.

    BTW, as a Baptist(kinda) you challenged me to really look at Lent and perhaps make a sacrafice myself. Nice post.


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