Students being teachers
Nah, not what you think. Not group work. Not seniors helping in freshmen classes (though I do that, and when it works it is wonderful).
I have a couple of former students, class of ’06 (my school’s first graduating class) with jobs in schools. One of them is a teacher, subbed last year, appointed this year, in a middle school near here, surviving quite ok. Another is a teacher’s aide in an elementary school in the South Bronx. And then there is TMW.
TM, for short, presented for high school with enthusiasm, but with the behavior of an excitable 4th grade boy. He wouldn’t stay in his seat! He called out. He made jokes, and was constantly laughing out of turn. He wasn’t bad, just exasperating. Middle school teachers, what do you do when a child literally rolls around on the floor?
But he grew. He got bigger. And emotionally he matured. I think he was almost behaving like a reasonable freshmen when he graduated.
A couple of years ago I needed some help from alumni, and a few showed up, including TMW. At the end I thanked him for coming. “But Mr. 2718” he said, “of course I came. You asked me.” I laughed. “In four years, TMW, how many times did you do something just because I asked?” He laughed too.
Revenge is sweet. TMW is now working as a dean in Brooklyn. Today he wrote me this:
“I often find myself disciplining students for the same shit I used to do. I’ve mastered the art of not cracking up at the ridiculousness of the youth…”