Sideways Stories

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 02 2011

An Unexpected Smile

Now here’s a cheesy one. One that I hear people talk about and I gag a little because I think:

1. I will never have sweet cheesy stories

2. They are making it up to sound like good teachers

So now, needless to say, my 2 thoughts have been altered. I am trying to go back to my first days of school and recount the hilarious/ridiculous things that have happened, but after speaking on Facebook chat with an old friend, I realized that I needed to write.

This week progress reports were given out. I reflected on the grades that the students were going to see beforehand and was happy to see that one student in particular (let’s call him Benry… since you can’t figure out his real name from that) had a B.

Now Benry is two years behind, meaning he is supposed to be in 7th grade. He’s a hormone-raging, anxious, young man. He started out the year by lashing out at my team teacher constantly, rarely participating in class, and constantly finding ways to cause madness. I never saw him smile. His first marking period grade: F. Second marking period grade: D. Now: B!
Right when Benry came in my class I pulled him aside.

“You know, progress reports go out tomorrow,” I say.

He looks up with that “and why do I care?” look.

“You know what you have…?”



Benry’s left cheek lifts a little as a smile creeps upon his face.

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    All credit goes to the 5th graders of Jax

    Elementary School

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