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An Apple for the Teacher

Susan Notes:

Kay Jones sent me this e-mail to cheer me up. As she said, "Maybe if you just spotlighted one success a day at the end of your list of articles that pain all of us who care about kids, you wouldn't feel so cranky."

Kay is right, and I hope others will join her in sending me small stories of good things that happen in classrooms. Kay has run a very hopeful/helpful website for years: wwww.k4teens.info. See hotlink below.

by Kay Jones

I'm teaching GED-prep at a local community college. This term I have three "bikers." One of them actually rides Harleys, but the "biker dudettes" just look like bikers. They talk tough, they walk the talk, and they could take over the classroom, if I'd let them. But, I don't. I appreciate that life has been tough on them which makes them tough on the outside, and I understand their difficulties in school both past and present, and I enjoy their naughty sense of humor.

Our classes meet in the evenings from 6 - 9 PM. One night about 6:30 PM, the three of them walked in talking and laughing. Joe is holding something in his hands behind him. I approached him saying, "Joe, if that's a cigarette, booze, drugs, or a weapon, I will have to send you home." He looked offended, then smiled, and brought out from behind him the biggest red apple that I've ever seen. He said, "This is for you, Miss Kay," handing it to me with a hug and thanking me for "putting up with him." Not to be outdone, the next night, the "biker dudettes" brought me a ceramic apple. They assured me that their apple was better because it wouldn't rot and it would last forever. While they may be adults, when they're in my classroom, they're still students who need someone who cares about them, just as they are.

— Kay Jones



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