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The Reason He Teaches

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California Teacher Guy writes a supremely sad post about a student who's ready to throw out a quiz paper rather than take it home—because he knows no one at home is interested in his schoolwork:

"Instead of throwing it away, why don’t you take it home?”
Sergio shook his head. I tried again. “Are you sure your parents don’t want to see it?”
“They don’t want to see it.”
“Well, how about your aunt or uncle or grandparents?”
“Nobody wants to see it.”
“Well, I’m not going to throw it away,” I said. “I’m going to take it with me."

And when he said that, CTG reported, the kid managed a small smile.

9 Comments

This made me smile today. It's great to know that teachers can make even the smallest difference in their students' lives.

This shows it only takes a small statement like this to show students that teachers really care.

This presents a sad reality. Often students are lacking support at home. It is a strain on teachers to make up for what children aren't receiving from their families, but that is what teachers do.

This is so sadly true, but if parents aren't going to care, than who else better than their teacher. That's what can be so touching about a teacher.

A story like this is exactly why I am majoring in education! I am currently a college student and I have been asked the question "why do you want to be a teacher?" several times in the past couple of months. I have many reasons to why I want to become a teacher, but the main reason is to make a difference in somebody's life. A teacher brings a great deal of happiness to his/her students and this story is a wonderful example of a teacher's love!

This tells me that people can say small things to make other people feel better. It's always good to develop a relationship with your students and see what's going on in their lives, because you never their situation at home.

For one of my masters classes, I researched the effectiveness of out-of-school learning opportunities to improve homework completion. I wanted to encourage more interaction between the class and home environment so each assignment had a component to do at home with someone from the students' family. Each assignment, however, I was surprised at how many students left that part blank. After talking to the students and calling home, a common response I received was that they just did not have time to do it. Even with extended deadlines and simple tasks, parents were not willing to show their support and work with their kids. I know this is a huge and ongoing war in education. I can't get frustrated and give up. The kids see enough of that already. Its good to see teachers who step up to this challenge. Lose the battle, win the war, right?

Nobody Left Behind - One Child's Story About Testing was written especially for middle grade students. It shows how students are internalizing all this testing and is a catalyst for discussion about the extreme test focused environments that are our schools. It has a message students need to hear.
It could be helpful to teachers as they cope with their classrooms.

It was a sad little story and reminds me that when I am dealing with children I need to make all of them feel important because you never know how their life is at home.

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