He busts into the class, hood up,
eyes scanning the room.
It is hard to tell if his eyes
are searching for friends or warily
appraising what the content may have waiting.
J. has come a long way this year.
The sullen, young man
that entered in September,
has given way to a frequently gregarious,
slightly more open version of himself.
When he thinks no one is looking,
J. guides nearby classmates if they are confused.
J. is on time, mostly prepared and willing to participate when asked.
The maturing student in J. has started to peek out
from under his guarded exterior.
However, he refuses to give up the ghost in one area.
“I hate reading,” he says as automatically as one might say hello.
“Oh, that’s a shame,” I say,
“because I just got the hottest new graphic novel title
and I was going to have you try it first.”
His eyes slide up from under the lip of his hood,
“What’s it about?”
As other students clamor to get their hands on the newest book first,
J. somewhat reluctantly accepts the title.
Later on, I see him reading in a comfortable chair.
The next day, when another student asks if he is finished with the book,
J. smiles and says not yet.
“You want me to tell you about it though?” he offers.
J. may not realize it but he is moving from resistant student to classroom teacher.
4 thoughts on “Student Study”
I love this story of the young man emerging from under his hoodie. There is something so rewarding about the small, positive, changes he is making, the willingness to show more of himself. I hope he continues to open up, and I hope you can find more books to keep him reading!! You are doing a great job with him.
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Building relationships with our reluctant students is essential so that they can step forward from their invisible shields into readers and writers. Your retelling of this story is illustrated in your poetry.
Your character sketch makes it easy for me to imagine this student but it also points to the kind of teacher you are, one who notices and gently nudges.
I love how you are making J. feel extra special and significant despite his claim that he hates reading by handing him the hottest book in the room, first. You are changing one life at a time!