Tuesday, June 25, 2013

To Me It's Students First! And It's Not Simply A Slogan.






















A couple of days before the Earth Science Regents I discovered that three of my students at the school had not taken the Earth Science laboratory practical.  I then spoke to the other teachers and found that approximately eight students did not take the laboratory practical and were in danger of failing the Regents.  I spoke to my Assistant Principal about holding a special laboratory practical the day before the Regents.  To my delight, the Assistant Principal was supportive and we then started to call the students to have them come in to take the laboratory practical.  All were contacted except for one of  my students.  When I couldn't contact her, let's call her "Cindy", I was about to give up when her guidance counselor informed me that "Cindy" needed the Earth Science Regents to get an advanced Regents diploma.  Otherwise, she would get a regular Regents diploma.

What was I to do?  The three phone numbers given to me by the guidance counselor and the nurse's office did not work.  The number "Cindy" gave me was also not working.  See "Cindy" is a recent immigrant   only coming to the country two years ago and apparently moves quite frequently.  I then did some investigative work and started calling a couple of students who I saw were friendly with "Cindy".  However, they had no contact with "Cindy" except in  school since she had no cellphone.   Just when I was about to give up, I remembered a boy she liked talking to outside my classroom and tracked down his name. On a hunch I called his house and asked him if he can contact "Cindy" and tell her to come in for the laboratory practical.  He told me that he couldn't contact "Cindy" but he knew a distant relative that "Cindy" used to live with and maybe she would know.  About two hours later, I received a phone call from the relative and since she only spoke Mandarin, I had my Mandarin speaking lab tech translate about how important it was for "Cindy" to came in and take the laboratory practical.

To make a long story short, "Cindy" did come in and take the Earth Science laboratory practical and yes, I am quite happy to say that"Cindy passed the Earth Science Regents"!  I feel good that I went "over and above the call of duty" to see that a student of mine was given every chance to achieve mastery in her academic career.  Maybe that one action does not make me "highly effective" but I can tell you it feels wonderful to know you made a difference and helped her receive her advanced Regents diploma.

9 comments:

Pissed Off said...

good job. the admins won't appreciate what you dif but ciny will.

Anonymous said...

Well done Chaz! These are the type of actions that countless teachers across the city do everyday - unfortunately, nowhere will you see this measured on a Danielson Rubric.

Anonymous said...

awesome story - the DOE would have trudged out a "spokesperson" to deflect the blame for any oversight it was supposed to be doing- kind of like what is happening now with the grading!

Anonymous said...

Awesome story and great job. There are too few teachers who would do what you did.

I hope the school keeps you but if they don't it will be their loss and some other school's gain.

Geo Karo said...

Awesome! And the tabloids say that teachers don't care.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, while the DOE was dealing with their latest mess, the teachers at my school worked hours to give students a Field Day they will never forget. My school is in East New York, and our students come from here, Brownsville, Bushwick and Bed Sty. Teachers cooked for hours, supervised basketball, tug-o-wars, flag football, etc., in scortching heat. And we all were thrilled at how much fun our kids had. They don't have this much fun in their lives, so it was a privilege to provide some. The reformers are always spouting off about adding value. Well, these teachers, some of whom will be rated ineffective next year because of overly-complex criteria, added incredible value to the lives of these kids. I overheard a paraprofessional say, "This may be the high point of their summer." This is what teaching is all about. Have they all forgotten?

Anonymous said...

chaz,

I worked with you last year and I saw you teach. Any school that gets you will be very fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, have a great summerj. This story is wonderful. This is called the intangibles...yes intangibles which are often overlooked but really this is what its all about

I noticed that... said...

Jumping through hoops is what teachers do on a daily basis for kids.

Your story epitomizes what many teachers do to see students first always. Unfortunately, the selfless act is not on the Danielson, which has now become the curse, not the tool, for many dedicated teachers.

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. Have a peaceful, relaxing summer.

Retired from the system, but hoping to teach in a college.