Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sometimes It's OK To Touch A Student

Last week I was trying to do all those administrative tasks that really occupy more of my time (that I don't have) during my planning period (2nd). I went to our school attendance secretary's office to look up a student's schedule. She has several duties such as reports, grades, withdrawals, admissions, transfers, transcripts, school cameras, and is our Registrars secretary too. I like to think of her as our "Radar O'Reilly" of the TV show MASH. She is on top of everything in our school and knows what goes on. Well that day I went to see her she was with a nice looking young black male student that I recognized as an athlete. I stood back in the corner as they were facing her computer screen and was just waiting for them to finish. Not meaning to eavesdrop on their conversation, I was clearly overhearing what was going on. The student was in her office getting a copy of his grades to withdraw from school. This is one thing I hated to see happen with any student. As I listened further to their conversation several interesting facts became apparent. One, his grades were outstanding, second the withdrawal was not what he wanted. His family was in the administrator's office across the hall having a argument with each other and wanting to remove him from our school! My blood was beginning to boil at the thought of parents placing the welfare of their child at risk because they could not" get along." He was a good student first of all, he was active in sports, and he was a good role model for his fellow black athletes. I just stood there in silence and took a big bite out of my tongue. Then I noticed the tears streaming down his face. Radar noticed too. She went up and reached out and wrapped her arms around him. She hugged, hugged, and hugged, and hugged him some more, dried his tears with her own napkins, and softly told him that everything was going to be alright. I was taken back a little, but then offered my empty office for him to sit if he needed some privacy, then he could get it back together in private. He declined my offer and said he wanted to sit there and wait for his mother. Hurriedly I concluded my business in her office and left, thinking about what had happened.

This secretary was not his teacher, but she cared. She reached out. She got involved. She touched that student when he needed it most. Somehow the withdrawal was reversed, stopped that day. I think she had a big part in the reversal. I emailed her after I had read the school announcements that he was back in school that day, and I told her how proud I was of what she did. She wrote me back saying " I treat all kids like I want my kids to be treated. I have a son that just started here in the ninth grade."
Enough said and done.

1 comment:

Jayna said...

Wow, Joe, I love stories like this that show the human side of adults. I agree that it is sometimes not only OK to touch a student but necessary. That child needed a hug more than anything else at that time. Your story left me wanting to know more about what happened. It is so bitter sweet, I have said a prayer for that student and hope that where ever he goes his remarkable spirit will help him to succeed. Thanks for sharing your story.