It's amazing.

Until a few weeks ago, I’d never thought much about donuts. Tasty, fattening, kind of messy…that was as far as it went. But a few weeks ago, that changed. A few weeks ago, I learned that the offer of a round frosted deep-fried culinary treat gets students falling over each other to jump as high as you want.

So far this year, I have used donuts to:
- persuade a brilliant but stubborn kid to go into math and science honors after three months of trying to simply convince him to do it
- get a student to agree to stay after school to do make up work so that he hopefully will not continue to fail 80% of his core classes
- convince some disaffected bad-ass boys to consider joining school sports
- cheer up a sobbing seventh grader
- open a conversation with a kid who needed to talk
- make students feel special

That last one really gets to the heart of it. Every kid wants to feel special. Every kid wants to be noticed. Every kid wants to matter to someone.

And the offer of a donut…it’s a little thing, but it does it. It shows them that they are real, that they’re a person, that they are cared for. The hole in the center is the lens of a laser that zeros in the student chowing down, that lights them up so that everyone can see that they count.

Everyone needs to count.

It’s amazing what you can do with a donut.


Tiki Martin said...

It is amazing, isn't it? I give out little Snickers bars as a way of saying "thank you" or I'm proud of you without always being all gushy about it. It's amazing what kids will do for a chance at a Snickers...and mine are in high school!

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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