Friday, September 14, 2007


I have the kids pick groups like kickball teams.

I started doing this last year because it makes sure everyone is in a group and the kids are always fairly pleased with the results. It's always turned out better this way than if I pick the groups or if I just let them pick. I ask for volunteers to be captains and then the captains take turns choosing team members.

Yesterday Tanisha picked Denzel to be on her team before Travis could. This was a big issue because Travis' group had ALL of Denzel's friends on it. All the troublemakers in one group pretty much. I was worried about that, but it actually turned out alright.

Denzel was mad though. He kept wandering into the hallway where Travis' group was working. "Stay with your group, Denzel." I kept warning him. "Man, I don't want this group. I can't work with this group." "Yes you can" I told him.

Denzel is on the football team. He is really good. This year he is elligible for a big scholarship that I know he desperately wants. I reminded him of that. I also reminded him that I am pretty tight with his coach. "You don't want Coach Jackson to know that you are refusing to participate in class." I said. I wasn't trying to be threatening so much as I wanted to remind him of his focus. "Man, I dont care." He told me.

But I know he did.

I know he cared about playing football the most and we both knew he had a good shot at that scholarship. And I also knew that being in a group besides the one filled with his buddies was going to be better for him anyway. And eventually he went back into the classroom. He just sat at a desk for a while. Then next time I checked he was standing up with his group and working.

I was so proud of him.


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