Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Superpower

Do you have any amazing abilities that you can't really explain? Any talents that are outliers compared to your other skill sets?

Here's mine: I can get "tough" kids to work hard, to feel positively connected to a class of their peers, and to care a whole lot about my expectations of and for them.

I honestly don't know how this superpower of mine works. It's very real, though. And it is truly one of my most special abilities.

I was perusing the files of one of my "tough" kids this week cuz I wanted to figure out why such a smart guy is so far behind academically. I found a series of suspension slips last year, at his school in California. One per month, starting in January, all the way through June. This year he's been working hard to learn, figuring out his place with the other kids in "appropriate" ways, and letting me in to his world so far as to let me know that his dad's gonna be "in Draper" for another few years. (Our inside language for the state penitentiary.)

One thing I really struggle with, though, is that I really want these kinda kids to develop a source of internal motivation to make good choices, but I often feel like they're over-dependent on me.

What's your superpower?

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