I spent 97% of my energy on my students today. Unfortunately, they did not spent as much energy on their work. By the end of the day, I was frustrated and disappointed in my students.
Despite the frustration, several good things happened today.
-One of my freshman girls realized that others may perceive her as a bully because of how she reacts to others.
Today people wore purple to stop bullying and harassment. This was in response to the recent suicides as a result of bullying. Earlier this week, the PE teacher gave a survey to the 9th and 10th grade students. Apparently, there was discussion about it last night on Facebook, E-mail, and text messaging. I was greeted at the door to my classroom by this student who wanted to talk about what people wrote about her. I was incredibly impressed by her maturity with regard to this situation.
-A wonderful woman by the name of Amal Wahid called me regarding my student from Alexandria, Egypt. We were able to talk about some resources that might be able to help him.
As a graduate student, I was required to take a course in diversity. One of our assignments was to visit a local mosque. As a class, we went to the Long Island Islamic Cultural Center. Due to the nature of the building, women were required to wear the hijab and dress modestly. The members of the cultural center were incredibly gracious and wanted us to feel comfortable there. We were able to ask questions without fear that we would be judged.
When my student began to express concern about his difficulty with the English language, I did not hesitate to contact them once again through their website. I sent a general inquiry about community resources for a teenage, male who recently came to the U.S. This afternoon on my way home from work, I received a call from Amal Wahid who also came from Egypt but, she arrived many years ago and has a wonderful command of the English language. She pointed me in the direction of a cultural center in my neighborhood as well as the Arab American Center in Brooklyn, NY. She gave me her phone number and e-mail to pass along to the student in case he wanted to speak with her. She was incredibly easy to talk to. I am so grateful got back to me with such kind, useful information.
-Another one of my students realized that being prepared for his class by having a calculator and asking questions, will certainly help his grade in my class.
He was the last student standing at the end of 1 hr 15 min of extra help after school. His perseverance was amazing. He kept asking questions. It was wonderful to watch his confidence grow as he was working through each problem. I hope he does well on his quiz tomorrow. He deserves it!