Bad Rap

by

At a fairly recent doctor’s appointment, I was asked  the question of what I do for a living.  When I  answered that I am a middle school teacher, the doctor responded with, “Those kids should be boxed up and sent away until they’re 15!” or something of the like.  Unfortunately, we know that many of “our” kids are very misunderstood, and yet I can’t imagine teaching any age but middle school!

While thinking about that conversation, examples of middle schoolers doing the right thing really stick out to me.  So, I figured this would be a great time to share one of these examples, this one I learned about from my principal:

On Thursday, a visitor to our school slipped and fell on the ice, which was hiding under a light dusting of snow.  The parent had come to PIMS for an early morning IEP.  As she was walking from her car along the sidewalk to the lobby entrance, she lost her footing and fell hard on the ground, losing her shoe, her paperwork . . . and her dignity.  Two of our students (brother and sister, eighth grade boy and sixth grade girl) waiting for the lobby doors to open, ran to her assistance.  She was shaken and worried about her previously injured knee.  The students recovered her shoe, helped her to her feet, dusted her off and escorted her into the building.  When she reached my office, she had tears streaming down her cheeks.  She was worried about her knee, since, as she repeated several times, she “just couldn’t miss work.”  She explained to me that while her knee hurt, and she was very embarrassed about falling as she did, her tears were tears of appreciation for the caring students who so kindly helped her.  Witnessing that type of a fall, many young people might have laughed, or pretended not to see and walked away.  These two students (who, by the way, have had their moments in the office) didn’t miss a beat.  They hurried to her rescue.  This parent was so moved by the students’ helpful nature, that she contacted me later that day to once again let me know how much she appreciated their help and kindness. When I called the parents of these students to share their good deed, again, unexpected emotion.  “I’m so used to hearing about the bad stuff; I wasn’t expecting anything like this”  — this amidst quiet sobs of pride.

I’d love to hear your examples as well!

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