She talks. Alot. During class. During recess. In the library. While on the computer. At the lunch tables. Talk. Talk. Talk. She’s what you’d call a social butterfly. And a gossip. Someone who knows everything about everyone. I know because she tells me. Gives me the scoop about her life. Their life. Everyone’s social life.
As much as I understand the social aspect of growing up. Of life. Of being a student. I also know the importance of getting good grades. Grades that build upon each other. Year after year. Success after success.
Seriously, people, I tell the kids. You really need to understand how important the grades you receive are. They are a reflection of your determination.
As I was giving my speech, she was talking to the girl. To the boy. Both sitting behind her. I’d look at her. I would stare. And she’d quickly turn around. Until I began lecturing again. About how some day they’d all be going off to college. To educated themselves even further. Go to great colleges. Because they were getting great grades. Because they persevered.
And again, she talked. To the girl next to her. To the boy in front of her. She even passed a note to the girl diagonal from her. A note I had to intercept. A note that interrupted my train of thought. A note that had nothing to do with school. But everything to do with who was dating who, and who be stilled her heart.
On the day I handed out report cards, the grade reports of all my students. Many kids happily accepted the take-home-share-with-your-parents-news while others cringed at the thought of what lay inside the sealed envelope.
I watched her skip out the classroom door. Across the blacktop. And then she ripped opened her achievement marks. She tossed her head back. Wasn’t surprised by the comment I wrote. The comment stating she needed to focus more, talk less. She leaned her face down. Concentrating on the not-so-great marks she received. Then she looked at her friend’s report. Seeing how they compared. They laughed. As if everything was A-OK. That life was just grand.
Suddenly, she was at my classroom door. Having returned unexpectedly. And all she said to me was It’s your fault I didn’t get good grades.
Explain that to your mom, I responded. And she walked back out. Onto the blacktop. And sat with her bestest friend. Watching the cutest boys in school. Giggling about this and that. Him and her. About everything except the importance of good grades.