I was in a meeting all day today. After school, I headed back to my classroom to drop off some materials and check in with my student teacher.
I poked my head in the freshmen office and asked the secretary if she had seen Andrea. She paused for a moment and said "Actually, no. Maybe she wasn't in school today? I usually see her at least once during the day."
She turned to the computer and quickly checked her computer. "Huh, she was here. She must've had a good day," she said.
"Great," I replied, "I didn't get to talk to her about her detention. Let me go see if she is in my room now."
Monday, Andrea asked me if she could serve her detention with me to do some work. I can never so no to that request, even when I know I probably should. So I said yes.
Andrea is an incredibly bright, self-aware kid with absolutely ZERO self-control. Every thought goes from brain to mouth. Every slight injustice is a capital offense deserving a full court hearing. Her work completion is inconsistent at best. She is an expert task avoider.
I did not have a lot of confidence that Andrea would show up after school today. Nor that she would complete any work.
But she did. She showed up on time, chose to stay the whole hour even though I had to leave, had all her papers, and got right to work.
She owned that her behavior in class today was not ideal. It doesn't mean her behavior will improve, but its a concession and a start and I'll take it.
Her choices today are a good thing.
But the reason I chose her to write about her is because of Law and Order SVU. Weird, right?
This week, our school is celebrating its second annual Ally week to promote tolerance and equality for LGBTQIA youth.
The episode of SVU was about a hate crime perpetrated by a 15 year old kid with a good heart. It made me cry. I could put the face of dozens of children I have had in class on that actor and not be surprised. Traumatized, devastated, but not surprised.
And here's the thing that made me write about Andrea tonight. She will stand up for ANYONE she thinks needs protection, anyone she perceives as unfairly targeted or unable to protect themselves. She is adamantly anti-bully.
So no matter how aggravating her impulsivity can be. No matter how bad she is at the game of school. I know she will stand up for others. That is a good thing too.