There is always hope! Each day I see some amazing acts of kindness from the freshman I teach. Recently, I have watched students share the novel Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers with classmates who could not acquire a copy in time for our class assignments. No judgement was made; I asked if anyone could loan a copy of the novel to another student during our silent reading time. Every student who did not have a book was given one by a generous classmate.
A few years ago, I saw an amazingly mature and kind display from a ninth grader. For one reason or another we went into a lockdown. I went into the hallway and ordered any student not in a classroom to come into my room. It so happens, Ian, a mentally handicapped young man was at his locker next to my room. I knew Ian because he always had a smile and a hello. Plus, I knew he did not like change very well.
I invited him into my classroom with the trepidation that the ninth graders would be immature and say something inappropriate. Was I ever wrong! Several students said, “Hello Ian!” and one young lady moved over to a desk near his and began to talk to him. He was nervous due to the change in his schedule, but she made him feel at ease. After a while, we were able to return to our work and include Ian.
I learned that I should never underestimate the students I teach. They are caring people and only need the opportunity to show the world.