Who knows why they do anything?

Today a different kid came in to talk to me for no apparent reason. This one is a tenth grader (I teach his younger brother). “Miss!” he said. “Check out my report card! Not what you’d expect from a kid like me, right? A kid who looks like he’s from the ghetto?” (Points of interest: the school has a dress-code, so he was wearing a shirt, tie, and dress-pants when he said this, and also he speaks beautifully, unlike 80 percent of kids I’ve ever taught.)

“90, 91, 85, 94… This is an excellent report card. But wait, what’s this comment? ‘Is a distractive influence in class?'”

“Oh, that? I don’t know. I’m not a distraction!”

“Then why did your teacher put it here?”

“Sometimes I guess I talk a little.”

“A little?”

“I can’t help being hilarious! I say stuff, the other kids laugh! That’s not my fault. What, am I supposed to pretend not to be awesome and funny?”

“Well, what if you just didn’t do it every day?” (I’m friends with the teacher who left the comment, and I’ve heard about his class.)

“Miss, that would be dishonest.”

“Or, it would be a smart way to get your 85 up to a 90.”

He looked at me like I was totally crazy. Then we talked about baseball for twenty minutes.


2 Responses to Who knows why they do anything?

  1. Vanessa says:

    Hi TeachingSmarter,

    I came across your blog, and I really like it. I work at a place called The Open Planning Project, or ‘TOPP.’ We’re a non-profit connecting technology and social change. I am writing because we’re looking for a full-time blogger for Schoolblog.

    What is Schoolblog, you may be wondering? It’s THE information hub for all things related to education in NYC. It just doesn’t exist yet. Hence our need of a blogger. I’ve pasted the job description below. Schoolsblog will be to schools what Streetsblog is to streets. A place for people to go to read, share, discuss (argue? decide?) how to improve the city’s education system. The blog will be an alternative (and more community-engaged) outlet to mainstream media.

    This person will probably have some journalistic/blogging background, and s/he will almost definitely be a former teacher or principal. Someone who can speak to on-the-ground experiences with some clout (and insight) and who can distill policy and news for a readership of parents, teachers, and DOE officials. Part of the challenge will be figuring out just what’s not right in NYC’s schools and how to make it better. I don’t think our funder has a really clear dogma he’d like to promote, so it will be legitimate journalistic work that’s somewhat exploratory at first.

    I am writing to invite you to apply for the position, and to ask you to share the opening with anyone else who might be interested in blogging about schools. We have a job description posted at topp.openplans.org/careers .

    I realize this comes a bit out of the blue, but if you’re interested, hope to hear back from you.

    Best for the new year,

    Vanessa Hamer
    The Open Planning Project

  2. Vanessa says:

    sorry to do that in the comments…couldn’t find a way to contact you directly.

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