ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 112, Friday, March 7
Today the 8th grade students finished up their 9-paragraph assessment essays, but some of them had to get over one extra and unforeseen hurdle. The 8X class was working assiduously in the computer room, about one paragraph away from the end, when another teacher came and informed me that he had officially signed up to use the room at that time. Luckily, I didn’t get flustered. I simply and quietly told the kids that some adversity had arisen, and that they would be proud of themselves, later, because they handled it so well. I asked them to silently pack up their things, move to the library, and handwrite the rest of the essay. They did so in a dutiful and compliant manner, and before long they were hunched over their papers, laboring away at the conclusion of the essay. Later, when everyone had turned in their paper, I gathered the class together and told them how proud I was of them. I told them I admired the courage they showed in accepting adversity, making the best of it, and moving on. I told them that ‘8X’ kids, from here on, are members of a special club composed of people who bravely carry on no matter what is thrown in their way. I told them I was almost glad they had to leave the computer room because it gave them the opportunity to demonstrate their courage. I was full of pride for these teenagers, and I hope they got that message.