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Last semester I had to get on to one of my students repeatedly for not working. Not working isn’t an option in my classroom and so I finally had to send him to his principal’s office. His attitude was just becoming toxic to our entire environment. 

While at his principal’s office, he chose to escalate the situation further and thus was suspended for the remainder of the year. Even though his actions were completely juvenile, I couldn’t help but feel guilty that I was the reason this kid probably wasn’t going to graduate high school.

In the weeks that followed, I would picture his face here and there. Not knowing what else to do, I would simply hold him in my heart and pray that he was staying out of trouble and seeking a way in which to finish his diploma. 

Today–our first day back from winter break–he reappeared on my roster! He came to class with a smile on his face, apologized for the way he acted last semester, and worked the entire hour. 

I’m not delusional: this could very well just be a phase. But…he worked all hour. And that is a very good thing. 


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