|Duquan from "The Wire"|
|Namond from "The Wire"|
What sparked this blog post idea was that I recently found a letter a student wrote to me for disrupting my class. I don't remember the specific incident or the student, but it sounded like she got in trouble for taking another student's pen. Here is what she wrote:
|Students from "The Freedom Writers" Movie|
This letter taught me that it wasn't me, the class, the material we were learning, etc. that made this student act out. She clearly had a bad day and her friend was going through some tough times. What do you think her friend's situation was? What can be done to help students stay focused in school when students are dealing with some complex issues?
The friend's situation could have been anything from normal adolescent issues to something more serious like an unintended pregnancy, death of a friend or family member, stress from poverty, homelessness, sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, or some other sort of problems at home or in the community.
To help students who are dealing with a complex issue, teachers should be sensitive and aware of the challenges that students may face. Teachers can also encourage students to talk to others trusted adults at school like a guidance counselor, school social worker, nurse, and other appropriate support staff. In the classroom, it is important to make learning fun and engaging for the students.
For some more tips, watch Season 4 of "The Wire," and see how Mr. Prez-bo learned to connect with his students and make learning fun for students who were dealing with complex issues.