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Comments

nicole

ouch.
from my perspective, though, YOU are not the only one who let him down. it seems partly situational and you DID offer him a place in an honors class, which, aptly, should be an honor for him. because he chose not to take it is not your fault.

Melissa

You certainly did not let him down. Who knows maybe the offer of being in an honors class will make him realize his potential.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I read the entry you linked back to where you mention that assertiveness is not one of your characteristics. I am a soon to be high school teacher who also has this problem. This is only made worse since I am only 5'0" and am often mistaken for a high school JUNIOR! I could really use some advice. Thanks! Chin up, from your blog I can tell that you really care for you stundets as people - that is the mark of a fantastic teacher!

Ginny

Ugh. I've taught Pimp. Except the little kid punk version. You did the right thing, you tried. Don't get me started on the achievement gap. I feel a post coming on...

Ginny

Yep. It came. I linked it to your post.

Meredith

I'm on a teaching hiatus at the moment but I am still so involved emotionally in these here public schools. Reading about Pimp's decision NOT to join your honors class brought back a lot of memories. Did he really not want to join for the reason he said or was he scared of his potential and/or scared to be away from his community that he clearly has a good hold of? I know that during those years for me social decisions were much more pressing than anything academic. I have taught content ESOL courses that eventually lead the students into regular ed classrooms. The majority of those kids were scared to leave ESOL and join the ranks outside the familiar. They were safe where they were even if they knew they had more potential. While as a teacher, that was frustrating, I probably would have made the same decision at their age. I don't know what was ticking in Pimp's head but I wonder. Furthermore, he may want to get away from you because he knows you're searching for his light. I don't think you let him down. You showed him you had faith in his ability. He turned himself down.

Thanks for sharing...

Lectrice

I started reading this entry feeling nervous and uncomfortable about the idea of children socially accelerated (in the sense of moving up a grade because of ability and instinct rather than performance). We do it in my school, but then we have to - we have so few students who are committed that our version of honours class would be empty if we didn't.
We've only selected classes through ability at all for a year or two, though, so I'm still working slowly through the ethics and pitfalls. For instance, I have a child in a bottom set who speaks nearly no English. His academic ability is massive, reading his reports from his home country, and seeing how fast he progresses here. My experience of second language learners tells me he should be in a top or second set, despite the fact his written exams will show catastrophic levels of failure. I don't know how I'd square that with Pimp's case, or if they're even comparable. What if I moved up E2L kid and left Pimp behind - what could I say to justify that?

However, by the end of the post, I was there right with you: as long as you told Pimp *why* he wasn't allowed in the class. If it's explicitly stated that he can't be accelerated if he is a force for chaos, then he's been given an opportunity to learn something almost as valuable as his time in the honours class gave him. The real world doesn't socially accelerate people - only people can do that for themselves. I think you just taught him that.

Best of luck with the ongoing saga.

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