Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Hate the Player

I received the following e-mail tonight:
from: Keenan Joseph (
to: Yo Mista! (
date: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 9:02 PM (58 minutes ago)
subject: Assessment
Hey, I forgot to hand in the quiz from earlier but I have it completed. Can I hand it in to you first thing tomorrow morning? I don't want a 0 to jeopardize my overall grade for the class.
Such initiative. This is the kind of feel-good-shit that makes a teacher at a transfer high school feel great.

Unfortunately, I think I'm growing a little jaded. I've seen so much of this honeymoon motivation over the past two years, that it's become predictable. Clearly, Keenan is a new student at my school, who probably came here to be different. To get away from his friends who acted as a distraction. To stop feeling so pressured to chill out without focusing on school. To graduate. On time or about time.

In the coming weeks, Keenan will most certainly continue to dominate my Algebra class. But then what? Will he, like the majority of our transfer school students, fall back into his old ways? Will he refuse to come to school just because it's raining or cold outside? Will he need to be bribed to come to school in January by free breakfast or movie tickets? Will I get a contact high off him because he reeks of weed on the day of the Regents Exam?

Or will Keenan truly be different by coming in everyday and doing what is expected of him? Will he dominate his Regents Exams and pass all of his classes for the year? Will he be one of the few who gets active support from me throughout the college application process?

Only time will tell. I hate this game.

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