I had a student drop out of high school today. Most students who drop out of school are, frankly, not missed much by the teachers. I always fight to keep these kids in school and help them get through their academic troubles, but the unfortunate truth is that by the time they get to that point we're both usually fed up with each other. I work in a system with the resources and the philosophy to help virtually any student without major cognitive or behavioral issues get through school. In other words, for students who want it badly enough, we'll help them find a way, and if you get someone who is dropping out, it's usually because that person is fed up with school. A perfect example was a student last year who did no work in my class and muttered unkind comments about other students under his breath. Saddened as I was by his decision to drop out, it was a relief to see him go.
Today's drop out was so different. This guy was fun to have in class: he contributed interesting ideas to discussions, he helped less proficient students, he he was talented and had great potential. I started to fear he would drop out a few months ago, but the counselors, administrators, and social worker have been doing a great job trying to help him with a dental issue and his financial difficulties. Needless to say, I was very sad to see this email his counselor forwarded me today:
HI, MR ____________ !!
THIS IS __________ ______________ _____________
THE REASON WHY I' M WRITING YOU IS BECAUSE I DECIDED TO LEAVE THE SCHOOL .
YOU KNOW , THIS IS SAD BUT I DON'T HAVE OTHER CHOICE
BECAUSE I HAVE TO SUPPORT MY FAMILY TOO IN MY COUNTRY AND I HAVE TO WORK HARD FOR IT .
I CALLED MY FAMILY IN ______________ AND THEY TOLD ME MY FATHER IS SICK AND I HAVE TO SEND MONEY FOR HIS MEDICATION .
I FEEL EMBARRASSED TO LEAVE THE SCHOOL ,BECAUSE U HELPED ME A LOT WITH MY TOOTH AND WITH YOUR GIFT CARDS , I HAD GREAT HOLIDAYS WITH THE MONEY THAT YOU GAVE ME, I KNOW YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON AS MRS. STOCK AND THE WHOLE SCHOOL
YOU ARE A REALLY NICE TEAM OF EDUCATION , I FEEL VERY PROUD TO WENT TO ________ ____________ HS .
I THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING AND GOD BLESS YOU !!
THANKS YOU SO MUCH !! I WILL NEVER FORGOT YOU
What can you say to this? He's trying to do the honorable thing, and I hope and pray that he'll make it back to school some day when his family circumstances allow it.