Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things Students Say Thursday #5

Slap me on the wrists, I can't believe I haven't done my own linky!  Way to lead by example, Erin!  Being on spring break, I don't have a lot of good stories for you all this week.  It's been a bummer day, so I'm going to pass along a couple happy teaching stories, much in the vein of Megan Dub-Yuh's latest linky, where you know you've made a difference.

1.  One of the best, and most unique compliments I've ever received from a student (not to mention Trinnie's favorite to repeat) came from one of mine in California.  He was Mexican, and a skater/stoner typer, or at least he made himself out to appear that way.  Lots of skinny jeans and flannel shirts in his wardrobe, and long hair to top it off.  He was a good kid, and despite being put in lower classes, he excelled in math and pushed me for more challenging material.  He used to make fun of my former last name (when I was with xDH), and he'd call me "Purple Haze" and other lovely monikers.  He was a bit sassy at times, and guilty of mumbling inappropriate comebacks under his mouth.  One time, he left me a post-it that said:

"Mrs. C, you're downer than the floor."

2.  My biggest success story as a SpEd teacher is a student I'll call W.  He was on my caseload, which means that I was responsible for his IEP and advocating for him on his behalf.  He was a pretty high functioning student, who wanted to succeed and who wanted to be in all regular classes.  The only area he struggled in (and therefore qualified in) was math.  W was one of those students who associated better with adults than peers.  He was a bit of a gaming nerd, and he was fascinated with the military.  His father was in the Marine Corps and knowing that DH was prior service MC, he used to spend a lot of time talking to me during lunch - about the military, about my FIL, about DH, about my brother, etc.  I really like W, so I gladly sat and talked to him.  W wanted to be a Marine like his father, so I guided him to ASVAB prep materials, and listened as he wrestled with his desire to enlist, his father's encouragement for going through NROTC, and his mother's hesitation about her baby joining the Marines.  Unfortunately, the Army whisked us away to Fort Bragg before I could see him graduate from high school.

Long story short, W not only graduated but he enlisted in the Marine Corps and successfully completed all of his training!  I was so proud to not only see photos of him in uniform, but to receive a letter from him while he was at basic.  [Lest you think otherwise, I have a strict policy of not adding students to FB unless they've graduated and turned 18, and even then, I only have two that I'm friends with in my five years of teaching.]  In SpEd, we're in the business of helping students build independence, advocate for themselves, and achieve their academic, career, and personal goals.  I'm proud to say that W is a shining example that I have made a difference and that in spite of a learning disability, you can be successful and accomplish your goals.


Michelle said...

I need to start writing more in my posts! I love your posts and all your details! I love "Mrs. C. you're downer than the floor." That's awesome!

Erin said...

Thanks Michelle! I was feeling long-winded tonight - they're not usually this long!

Trinnie S said...

E, you so know you're "downer than the floor!"

Our Little Fam said...

hahaha! That was awesome! Youre downer then the floor.
Im a new follower, love your blog! :)

Erin said...

@Trinnie - You know I try! Pimpin' ain't easy!

@Our Little Fam- Thanks! Wasn't that creative?! It was a first for me! Thanks for the follow!