I have a student who is really quiet for the most part. He has long hair that covers his eyes and he doesn't have many friends. I met with his mom at the beginning of the year to discuss his lack of effort and it was an akward parent conference as he walked all over her and obviously ran things around home.
He says to me yesterday that he didn't have his homework and would it be possible to get another copy. He was animated and excited for the first time all year. Normally he sits with his head down and tries to blend in with the furniture. I asked him what had happened to the first copy he had taken home. He asked if I read the newspaper and when I said I did, he got even more excited. He said I must have read about his family in there on Saturday. He explained that there had been a shooting on his street and that his parents are in a gang so the police had come to his house and searched his house. They took his backpack where his homework was. He said he lost everything.
And now you are worried about your homework?
Can I cry now?
It seems the longer I teach, the crazier things are getting. I don't know if people talk about 'the end of /the world' where you are, but the high school kids are really focused on 12/21/2012 and feel like it doesn't matter what they do now because everything is coming to an end soon. They are just going crazy. I get asked at least once a week if I believe the end will come on that day. For those of you who have been around as long as me, you will remember 'the end' being predicted so many times this one won't phase you either, but for these kids, so many of them are scared. I'm just glad I have my faith to cling to in these crazy times.