Today I continued with this theme of “You Matter.” The kids told me they didn’t want to hear it everyday! But I still saw the smiles. And I understand what they mean. Over time, hearing this everyday can be old but only if is not followed through with action. It’s the action that matters. My students are pretty familiar with cheap words. What they like to see is action. So I understand their hesitation in believing it. They’ve had too many people in their lives who come in and say wonderful things only to leave abruptly.
Many of my students feel they have no purpose. They feel like they’re just floating from one moment to the next. Today, I told my students that they have a purpose. That their purpose might be to simply discover what their purpose is! I also told them that the discovery of their purpose can be detoured or slowed down when they make poor choices. But just because you make a bad choice, it doesn’t mean that you won’t find your purpose. It just might postpone its discovery.
Yet again, I had no major behavioral issues. Indeed, I would say the behavior today was better than the behavior yesterday. Only one student was sent out of the room. He dropped the “F” bomb right in front of me talking to another student. The use of vulgarity is a non-negotiable in my room and in the school. But even then, if I thought he wouldn’t do it again (or at least for a long time), I wouldn’t have sent him to the principal’s office, but he had just come off a four day suspension and his behavior has actually deteriorated. Sadly. I like the student too. He’s a funny guy and I don’t think he means any harm. But he’s all about that peer acceptance and pressure. He’s smart too, wicked smart. But cultural pressures tell him that to be smart is to be out of his peer group and subculture. So he acts dumber than he is. I see this happen a lot and it’s such a waste of talent. It breaks my heart.