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If you asked me why I chose to stay a second year, the answer is simple. There’s a handful of members of the class of 2016 that I adore and I want to help get them into college. I would do anything for these kids – short of physically showing up at the test site to take the ACT on their behalf.
Last year, in October I wanna say, but it may have been December, there were about 6 members of the senior class who took the ACT. I don’t remember exactly, because I think I’ve tried to block out first semester last year, but I do recall this feeling of disappointment when the star of the football team didn’t show up to take his ACT because he forgot his ticket.
HOW STUPID IS THAT! HOW DUMB. But he didn’t have internet at home, let alone a printer, so he was outta luck. Another kid showed up with his ticket, but forgot his ID so he was turned away.
This year, on October 23rd, twelve of my students were registered for the ACT. For the majority of the 12, I had helped them register, reminded them to get a fee waiver, taken and uploaded the photo that was on their ticket, held onto their ticket until test day, passed out calculators on the Friday before, and texted at 7 a.m. Saturday morning to make sure they were awake.
I did everything I could.
Two of them overslept. They both know I’m upset and that they broke my heart a little.
Another pair was supposed to carpool, and they were both up and ready to go at 7 a.m. However, the brother who was supposed to pick them up never showed, and wasn’t answering his phone.
8/12 showed up and took the test (assuming everyone’s telling Ms. Abram the truth). 66% when I did everything I could except physically wake them up and drive them there.
I think we underestimate the role that privilege plays. My kids don’t have their own car to take themselves. Their parents work on Saturdays so they can’t drive them, and they leave too early to wake them up. There’s no Uber (and no credit card to pay for the uber) or public transportation and it’s not within walking distance. The closest place they could take the ACT was 45 minutes away. Sometimes the electricity is off at home, and then there’s no way to charge your phone, which doubles as your alarm clock.
It’s stupid shit like that that gets in the way for my kids. They want to succeed, to go to college, to take the ACT, to do well, but it’s the simple things that we are too privileged to recognize as advantages that are the obstacles for my kids.
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I’m basically a 14-year old boy when it comes to my sense of humor. There are times where I genuinely have to stop myself from saying, “that’s what she said,” or something else that’s likely to derail my lesson.
However, I have a weakness. Sometimes, when kids ask are asking something they know they shouldn’t be (probably when I’m in the middle of introducing new material) I have a tendency to give a sassy response.
“Ms. Abram, what are you going to be for Halloween?” Your mom.
“Ms. Abram, what’s the answer to #4?” Your mom.
“Ms. Abram, what’s your number?” 1-800-your-mom
I know it’s not the most adult response, but it makes them laugh and it makes me laugh and then, we can (typically) keep going without my lesson getting horribly misdirected by me going into a speech about what I had for dinner last night.
EXCEPT there’s a problem
A pretty significant portion of my students have mothers that passed away when they were young, or don’t have custody of them, or an assortment of other horrible situations that break my heart daily.
It’s unintentionally painful when you say “your mom” to a kid who knows you adores him, but doesn’t have a mom.
Ok that’s your slice of humor and heartbreak for the day. xoxo.
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I’ve never so acutely identified with these as I did a few weeks back. I had some special visitors coming to observe me, and I was super nervous.
The morning of the observation, I received multiple “GOOD LUCK!” texts.
What you say: “GOOD LUCK”
What I hear: “You’re probably going to fuck this up, and luck is the only thing that MIGHT prevent you from falling flat on your face.”