Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friday's #EduWin

It's 3:40 on Friday afternoon. The halls are quiet. Seventh period ended 25 minutes ago. And Daniel looks up from his chemistry.

"Yo LS. How long are you staying today?"

"Until you're done with your chem, man."

"Oh." He stretches and pauses to think for a second. "It's hard to attain these chemistry bars, LS."

And with that, easily the line of the day in room 219, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. "Truth Daniel. Truth."

Daniel attaining those chemistry bars
Here's the thing: yeah, school has been out for 25 minutes. But Daniel actually doesn't have a seventh period. He could have taken off when sixth period was over at 2:20. But here he is, 80 minutes later. Grinding.

I get to loop with my kids for two years: I had Daniel as a freshman last year. First semester was a struggle for him. He started to come on second semester though. He started showing up to our office hours. His confidence in class increased. Daniel started to think he had things to say - things worth saying - in class.

Fast forward to this fall. Daniel is on the frosh/soph football team. He didn't quite have the grades to play at the beginning of the year. But six weeks in - at the first grade check - he was easily eligible. And then he was on the field.

And quietly sharing with me some of his successes. "LS - I had two sacks and a forced fumble last night."

"Nice! Did it feel good to be out there Daniel?"

"Yeah man - it was hella fun!"

I don't teach chemistry. I taught it for a couple years in the Peace Corps though and I can tutor the heck out of it. And to have Daniel come in on Wednesday and make an appointment to do chem Friday seventh? Yeah, it's on: let's do this, Daniel.

I'm lucky to get to be both Daniel's history teacher and advisor. I see him twice a day. I wish I could say I had something to do with the development of his academic identity. But I haven't. This has all come from him. And it's been a joy to watch. An absolute joy. That growth over the two year arc - ninth and tenth grades - is one of my favorite things about looping with students.

Now it's 4:30. The chem is done. There were a couple little stumbles along the way, but Daniel is leaving my class feeling good. He leaves me with, "Have a good weekend LS. I appreciate the help. I got this benchmark on Monday."

Yeah he does.

So. Freaking. Proud.

And an epic Friday #EduWin.