Connection

Today’s kid secretly made my day on numerous levels.

Last week, the 10th grade special ed English class merged with my general ed English class 6th period. One of my new students was particularly fascinated with the new book we began reading today (about a high school basketball player in a dangerous neighborhood who has a hard time reading and whose family life is complicated). In fact, he found it so engaging that after class was over, he came back to my room to tell me how much it related to his life. He went beyond the basketball connection I had anticipated (he is one of the school’s best players) and told me about his life: a mother who left him, a father surviving–maybe–somewhere in the streets, a neighbor who just died yesterday, an uncle who subsequently reminded him to stay focused on school to get out of here, but an anxiety about reading that sometimes makes him scared to try. So not only am I enamored with the fact that literature is speaking to this child in such a profound way, but that he felt compelled to share it with me.

Then! As he leaves my room to head back to biology, he turns around and says, “Thanks for letting me be in your class, Ms. Graham.”

Good god. Tears.

 

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