Teaching feels like this. Some days I need a serious attitude adjustment. I get bogged down from the lack of education my students had before they reached me, for the poverty that has engraved itself so deeply into their lives by the age of 18, for their lack of literacy and the feeling that I am flailing when I try to help them. It feels like nothing is a miracle.
But then I look at the one student who might be functioning at a 6th grade level in my developmental reading and writing class in community college. I interviewed him last week for the National Day of Listening. He told me how–for him & his situation–it was college or the streets. How all his friends are in the Bronx selling drugs, but that he wanted to do something different. He wanted to have a job, to get out of the city, to have a future. He came to community college with his low skill set and he tries. He shows up every day, he reads aloud while others snicker, he writes his basic sentences that are supposed to be paragraphs, and he tries.
If that isn’t a miracle, I’m not sure what is.