What could I possibly teach him that would be useful? How could history help someone who didn't seem to have a future?
It was world history, which I love, but try teaching it to secondary at-risk urban kids with no resources. What began as a burden became a blessing, especially where Davon was concerned.
Thanks to short, leveled texts, a few videos, and lots of discussion, Davon caught on fast. I was thrilled one day to overhear him telling a substitute about cuniform (the earliest known writing with symbols).
What a joy to see him blossom and realize perhaps school held possibilities for him!
Absenteeism was an issue for many of our students at the alternative school. It wasn't unheard of to have only one student in a class out of the handful who were enrolled.
Wise men and women are always learning,
always listening for fresh insights.
Proverbs 18: 15 MSG
"It's just not safe for her to walk that far by herself, Mrs. Walters," he said with all the devotion of a father. He still didn't get to school on time, but he wasn't as late after that.
That wasn't the saddest thing Davon shared that afternoon. He told me about working at his uncle's shop for minimum wage. Davon said, at six bucks an hour, he could never make the $300-500 a week some of his friends did selling weed.
"I'm trying to do the right thing, and getting nowhere. There's gotta be a better way."
Davon stayed in school longer than many of our students. He kept trying to find a better way...and for a while he did.