Throwback Thursday: Your Deeds Are Your Monuments, originally posted on October 6, 2017, expresses how proud I am of a student who has endured and overcome more than most.
Since his birthday is tomorrow, I figured this would be a fitting throwback for him.
Happy birthday, young man.
I’ve always told my students I’m not their friend or buddy, so do not confuse me with someone they can pal around with. And I’m not interested in their social lives or weekend plans or who’s dating whom so long as it doesn’t affect their academic lives or physical/mental health. That’s the stuff of high school gossip some educators definitely whisper about – those people need to get a life.
Anyway, there is a line that exists between teachers and students for a reason, a distinction that further separates child from adult. However, kids eventually grow up. Then, what do you do?
They move on, you continue to do your job with a new set of kids and a new one after them and so on. And as a teacher you hope they make the right decisions and see future success; that’s it, right? Well, yes and no. In my position as the middle [and sometimes high] school English teacher at Thornton-Donovan School in New Rochelle, I occasionally have the unique opportunity to watch a child progress from 6th grade all the way through 12th grade. That tidbit provides some context for the work I did with a young man originally from the Bronx whom I started working with when he was in eighth grade. He became the first member of his family to graduate from high school last June (see “The Make Good Son” for more on him).