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Introduction [Steven]

June 29, 2010

Nobody ever knocks on the door of my classroom—the noise is generally so loud that knocking does no good (and of that the faculty is keenly aware).

This September morning was different, however.  Students had arrived quietly and sat calmly as they completed their morning Bell Ringer.  They were all engaged in their work as I took care of my morning duties.  It was so quiet you could hear the little urchins breathe.  Cherished silence!

We heard a rare, staccato knock at the door.   Mr. Mills, the guidance counselor, stood outside my door.  With him stood a tall, lanky boy who stared at the ground as if it might run away when he broke his gaze.  I smiled at the boy before glancing expectantly at Mr. Mills for my message.

“Ms. C, this is Steven.  He’ll be in your homeroom starting today,” he stated, as he handed me a copy of Steven’s schedule.

I was thrilled!  I love getting new students—the others seem to really come together to teach the new kid how things work in Ms. C’s room (and it’s one of the few moments in time when my kids feel the need to be on their best behavior).  Steven sauntered into the room, holding a scared look in his eyes.  He quietly sat in the seat I directed him to, and dutifully waited for further instruction.

As I turned to go back into the room, Mr. Mills grabbed my arm.  “Ms. C, close the door,” he instructed.  I did.

“Steven came to us from an alternative school in Mississippi, where his records say he was in the 4th grade.  Since he’ll be turning 13 this year, we have age-placed him in the 6th grade with you, but remember that he’s probably behind,” Mills warned me.  “We don’t really know why he was at that school,” he continued, “but his mama said he was just talking too much.  I put him in your room first period so you won’t have to deal with him for a big chunk of your day.  Call me if you need anything.”

Mr. Mills turned on his heel and headed back to his office.  My mind raced:

“He’s bigger than me!”

“Who can be his new student buddy?”

“He sure ain’t talking too much right now….”

“This kid’s gonna be 13 this year!?”

“Why on earth would they give me this student?  I’m only 22!”

Even with all of these thoughts bumbling around in my mind, I knew that Mills was gone, and I had 24 students waiting on me.  The door closed behind me as I re-entered the room, anxious about dealing with whatever crisis Steven would surely stir up within the hour.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 7:09 pm

    I’m looking forward to learning how things with Steven turned out later in the year.

  2. June 29, 2010 8:05 pm

    Where is Paul Harvey when I need him – what’s the rest of the story?

  3. mag permalink
    June 30, 2010 8:18 am

    And….. this is a great lead… tantalizing and real! Tell us more.
    I started teaching with a room full of 14-15 year olds and I was 21. That was interesting!


  1. Realization [Steven] « Smile In Trouble

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