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Saturday, September 8, 2012

What A Difference A Grade Makes

Since it's behind us, I can disclose that the second grade teacher Zuki started off with last year, was a disaster. I won't outright say that it was all her fault, but now that he's in a class with teachers who actually give a shit, I see a distinct difference in his progress. He's excited, he's motivated and most importantly, he's confident and figuring things out for himself.

Maybe it was being a seven year old boy. Perhaps it was second grade. Whatever was the case, he's now a completely different person. I feel like going back to her and slap down his notebook in her face (like she did to me, seriously) and say "In your face!".

I remember how smug she was when she compared his handwriting to another student, who was exceptional to the point that it put my mother's precise penmanship to shame. He can't keep up, she said but her face expressed, I want nothing to do with him.

After jumping through hoops, bending over backwards and walking over hot coals, I had him designated to CTT (Collaborative Team Teaching) with two teachers for the rest of his educational term. How do I know he's happy? He came home Friday afternoon asking to do his homework.

He asked when he could get to do his homework.

Teachers have a hard job - they deserve more than recognition, they deserve awe. I hate to say anything bad about any one of them because I'd hate to think a bad one existed among them. But you wind up learning something regardless. What I've learned is that there are people who truly care about our kid's education and are willing to go above and beyond to make sure they get a damned good one. To them I owe my life. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and I thank them for finding a way rather than trying to bang a nonagon peg into a square hole.

For us, the second grade Hell is over. Perhaps it's a little too early to celebrate, but when it seems like the air is a little more breathable, the future is more pliable and finally - finally the talented little person is emerging with all the wonder education has to offer, what can you do but treat him to some Fish n' Chips.

Way to go, Zuki.


14 comments:

  1. Awe... I am so happy for you both. Nothing like a good teacher to get a student inspired. Too bad they seem to be few and far between these days.

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    1. Still, I tell them both they're lucky they get a free education and it doesn't suck.

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  2. Way to go, Zuki!! I can count on one hand the number of exceptional, give-a-damn teachers I've had, but it'd take both hands plus all my toes and Lily's toes and Zuki's toes put together to count the shitty ones. So sad. On a happy note, rest assured that Zuki's handwriting is 1000 times better than mine.

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    1. He wants to learn cursive so bad and the truly sad thing is, they don't teach it anymore. WTF?!

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  3. Okay Zuki rocks. His teacher last year? I'm headed out. I still have a little ghetto left in me from that other marriage.

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    1. It does come in handy in tight spots, don't it?

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  4. Yay Zuki! I think teachers should be more willing to admit when they have a personality conflict. Sometimes they just don't like kids - I don't like all people/kids either. If they could admit it - kids could move on to a teacher who likes them.

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    1. True that. There are more than enough people to find company among less annoying ones.

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  5. i've got teens in high school now and i can tell you, we were lucky to always have nice teachers. however, i grew up in the nyc school system too. i can tell you some teachers just become jaded after a while. is jaded the right word? i don't know. i think the teachers become tired and fed up. some, not all. the teens both had the same algebra teacher in middle school and though he's a real nice person and he taught them so well both girls passed regents with flying colors, he's mentioned to me before that he can't wait for retirement. he just couldn't take some of today's 13yos. just too stressful. i'm glad it's behind you guys. it's going to be a great year!

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  6. Thanks, Vanita and I'm so happy you show up as da Bronx visitor - that's so cool. Jaded is right on the nose, sometimes though, I know the administration ties their hands behind their backs. What can we do but join the PTA.

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  7. I love this, Nami. It brought a tear to my eye because I agree with you - there are those who are so passionate about education and will do anything to see there students get through. So happy for Zuki. For you. And for that 2nd grade teacher..."In YER face!!!"

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    1. It's like seeing your country's flag in the Olympics - all that hard work, such a young life. "In yer face!" indeed.

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  8. Teachers who never give up on a child, especially on our child, are truly heroes!

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