Appreciated…at last!

Appreciated…at last!
So, as we all know teaching is a very thankless job. Everyday I taught in Hawaii I felt like my students would be just as happy to see me hanging from the banyon tree behind my classroom as they would come to my classroom. Interstingly enough, it has taken me teaching convicted criminals to finally be appreciated.

My students call to me from across the quad, they peek their head in to say hi between classes and they defend me to the end of the Earth. If a visitor comes into my class-they cover like you can’t believe! I let them talk about controversial topics (ex: “Are Americans terrorists because of the bombing of Hiroshima?) that are not usually tackled by classrooms. But guess what…they are LEARNING…and even more…they’re EXCITED about it!!!

Several students have come to me for help recently. Some for additional help to pass the GED and others to get info on colleges. All of the kids who I’ve helped with the GED writing portion have passed!!! One guy after failing twice finally got it after our study session. I was so proud.

My most recent anticdote happened on Friday right before I left for the weekend. One of my favorite (shhh) students has been talking to me about college. He never thought he’d be able to go and figured he’d be in and out of jail forever. After many prep periods labored over the laptop with him, he has nailed down a plan. He knows what he wants to study. He has a timeline. He is going to make it! He came by my room yesterday afternoon grinning ear to ear and practically bouncing. He told me he was going to college. He took my hand, shook it, looked into my eyes and told me, “Thanks Mrs. Price. I never could have gone to college if it wasn’t for you.”

Tears are coming to my eyes even as I write this. Nobody ever seems to understand why on Earth I would ever teach criminals…this is why.


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