One of my kids broke my heart a little today.
He ditched my class. Which I knew, because I'd seen him in the hall earlier that day. So come lunch, I sought him out. Asked him where he'd been. "The office...no. Uh...lemme think." We went to admin.
I talked him into coming to my room after school so I could help him with his homework (he was one of my seven - the only one who had nothing today either). Saw him in the hallway later and reminded him. Gave his last period teacher a heads up.
He showed. He sat down and got to work. I was looking up ESL information and wasn't paying much attention. I could see he was working hard, hunched over the paper, pen in hand. After 15 minutes or so, I went to check on him.
He'd written two sentences.
One said that he didn't like writing because it was too hard for him.
I scribed the rest for him, prodding him with questions and sentence starters to get anywhere. He doesn't like my school because the kids are mean. His favorite teacher is his science teacher from last year because she doesn't yell that much. He doesn't know if he's smart. He wouldn't tell me at first if his family speaks English or Spanish at home; after I explained that it was just so I knew, not to get him in trouble or anything, he thought for over a minute and then said English.
I saw his favorite teacher after he left. Told her what he said. She was stunned - never would have thought it. Maybe she was just the first one he could think of; he still said it.
This child is not just left behind - he's choking in the dust.