Small Victories

Thursday morning, an excited M. ran up to me as soon as the bell had rung for the day to begin. “Ms! Ms! Here, it’s from S.” she said as she handed me a folded piece of notebook paper.

Since about the first couple weeks of school, S. and I have been writing notes to each other. I ask her about stuff we can’t really talk about in class like how she got the black eye and she’ll tell my why she was gone for three days consecutive days. “Are you gonna write her back? ‘Cause I can give it to her,” said M.

I was about to reply to M. but saw S. coming up the stairs. She was supposed to be going to ISC and but I guess she didn’t think M. would get the note to me. She told me she couldn’t do her test because the music they play in there wouldn’t allow her to concentrate and that she didn’t understand the vocabulary assignment. I told her I’d go out to see her during my conference time, but that she had to hurry up and get to ISC so she wouldn’t get in more trouble.

Later that day, as promised, I went to ISC and I explained her vocabulary assignment. Via e-mail, I got in touch with the ISC warden and asked her if it’d be possible to get her out of there during my conference periods to come work on the test in my class. She said it was fine with her, but I had to have permission from the AP. Around 5th period, I finally go the okay.

She came and worked in my class 6th period Thursday and 3rd period Friday. I told her I couldn’t pull her out Friday afternoon because I had a meeting that I couldn’t miss. She was halfway through the test, so I told her to just bubble in the answers and that we’d go with that. When she was getting ready to go back, I gave her a card, her report card and some other homeroom stuff. In the card, I told her I was very proud of her for asking for help instead of simply not doing the work.

That afternoon, I went to check my box before my meeting and I found her test packet. I quickly looked to see if she’d bubbled in her answers and I saw that she had bubbled in up to #42, the last question on the test. I looked through the test and saw she had finished it.

S. is one of those kids that can easily slip through the cracks. I know I haven’t let her in my class. I hope the others do the same for her. I don’t consider this a small victory, but in the context of the other 63 students I have, it is.

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