I have a student who’s missed a lot of class this semester. As in, I think he may be in a competition this year to see who can miss more days–me or him.
A couple days ago, his peers decided to take action. They called him. In the middle of class. (Normally I discourage cell phone use, but this was too good to stop). I didn’t pay attention to everything that was said in the message, but I did hear, “ARE YOU ALIVE?! We’re very worried!”
The next day, one of his friends (who was in on the phone call), came running into my room during my plan period.
“Mrs. Peterson! Guess who I just saw!”
I, of course, knew exactly whom she was talking about.
“Look at this picture.” She proceeded to show me a photo she had taken of her friend across campus as proof that he was indeed there that day. She told me she scolded him and said he needed to get caught up in calculus. “We’ll see if he actually shows…” She was clearly still very worried for her friend.
Well, he did show. He came and talked to me after class yesterday.
I welcomed him back and asked him what his plan was to recooperare. He told me he still believed he could pass the AP Exam.
“I do, too,” I said, “but we’ve both said this before.”
I told him I already passed back quizzes and tests. He said he completely understood. “You gave me more than enough time. You don’t owe me anything.”
I was so pleased that he was taking responsibility. When kids say things like that, it makes you want to bend over backwards for them, doesn’t it? Even if the obstacles seem insurmountable.
We decided that he would just come to class again the next day (today) and take the quiz with the rest of the class and go from there.
My one good thing is that he came today, took his quiz, and passed. I pray he keeps this up.
But my real one good thing is this boy’s friends. Because I’m convinced it’s their care that brought him back to us.