Friday, April 30, 2010

More about my community service kids

So yesterday, when the kids were doing their volunteerism, I had one kid tell me it was "lots of fun." This kid, being a 14 year old boy, is sarcastic- by definition, aren't all 14 year old boys? I rolled my eyes at him and gave him a "yeah right".

But he stopped me and said, "No, Ms. O'Sullivan. I'm being serious here." He went on to tell me that he lives with his mom and she 'works all the time' and all he does after school is sit at home, alone, and watching tv or plays video games.

He continued telling me it was cool I would take them to get their hours and he got to spend time with his friends and it helped old people and poor people, so it was fun. He said it was better than being home alone, day after day.

I was completely taken aback. This is a kid who really seemed to hate me for most of the year and really has given his teachers fits because he's just lazy. He's really smart (he's not special ed or LD or ED) but he just doesn't do his work. As a matter of fact, to prove he's no dummy, the 8th grade teachers told him at the beginning of the last quarter he better pass everything or he would fail 8th grade. He's doing his homework and studying and guess what? He has all As and Bs. He's just lazy and also has no encouragement at home- the grades prove he has the ability.

And this is the kid who was liking volunteering.

He liked it so much he asked if he could still come once a week all summer to keep helping because it "feels good to help" people and "it's better than sitting at home" and he thought it might look good on a resume or college application. Can we say a complete 180? I was very impressed.

Just when I think I can't be surprised anymore by my students...

Maggie Mae


Wiley said...

It is awesome that your kids are really stepping up for this. And it's amazing that sometimes they just need that opportunity that we may write off as inconsequential to make a huge impact. Way to go!

Curley said...

I had not a doubt in the world that it would turn out good. They have you in their lives after all.

Tiffanee said...

Very cool! Just another reminder of the good around us and you are a good role model!! I mentioned you in my Pink Saturday post. Hope this is all right. Have a great weekend!!

Jimmie Earl said...

I am really stunned at the difference you are making in these kid's lives. Not that you couldn't do it, but that they have let you. They have opened up to you when none of the rest of the staff have been able to EVER reach them. Keep up the good work. I am so proud of you!
JE a.k.a. Daddy-O

Maggie said...

Wiley- thanks. I'm really proud of ALL of them! I hope it's something that sticks for life!

Curley- thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Tiffanee- thank you for the kind words, really. And of course you can mention me anytime on your blog!

JE/ DaddyO- thank you. They astound me and touch me like no other kids have. i want the very best for all of them.