I'm in a Knowledge and Employability English class, and I am watching the students work on a writing/Movie Maker project. I was pleased to see that some of the students chose to write a story instead of throwing something together on movie maker. Not that those doing the movie maker project are any less capable, but the writing assignment is a bit more difficult than the movie maker assignment, and I'm pleased to see that some of the students chose the more challenging route.
The quality of some of the stories that I am reading is quite beyond what I expected. Although, these stories are supposed to be fictional, they are eerily close to reality for many of these kids.
Many of the students in this class do extremely well just by showing up for class. I am always excited to see them, and I am always enthusiastic for them when they are in class. The kids in this class will not graduate. Some of them may get a certificate, but none of them will get a diploma. That is unless they go back to school and upgrade classes that they have missed. Will this happen? I honestly don't know. Can it happen? That one is easy... yes, it can.
I have grown to care deeply for these kids; however, in many of the cases this feeling is only one way. I am okay with that. Many of them come to school, not because they want to learn, or be cared for, but because it is a safe place for them. At school they don't have to dodge bullets, or beatings, and they are warm and protected.
Unfortunately, many of them make poor choices that often result in their suspension, or even having to go somewhere else, and this breaks my heart.
It is so easy for many teachers, parents, authorities, etc to marginalize, forget, or even exacerbate the situations that many of these kids find themselves in. It is also unfortunate that many of these kids do the same things to themselves, and this the real heartbreaker.