On Thursdays, I teach Writing/English to three Middle-schoolers. Two of the three are new to the school, and one of those two is somewhat challenging. He's the "cool guy". By his own admission, his parents are extremely strict, therefore school has become his outlet for "bad" behavior.
And he's all mine for one hour a week. Actually two since I have him for Speech on Fridays as well. Regardless, it is the Thursday hour that I'll be telling you about now.
So today, their writing topic was their best friend and the qualities they appreciate in that person. They needed an example of how to do an intro, so off the top of my head, I give them something I might write...
"Tara Books (shout out!) is the best type of friend a person could have...(more great things about Tara)...Her loyalty was evident after Hurricane Katrina, when I wanted nothing to do with anyone, yet she never stopped calling me (or something to that effect)."
"Wait. You were in Hurricane Katrina???"
"Yes, I was."
And that's all it took. "Cool guy" now has a reason to respect someone he thought was "just another teacher" because--can you imagine--I actually have a story that begins before I taught him writing.