At the beginning of the year (semester), we review our new class rosters, allowing us to practice student names, set-up grade books, and create seating charts.  Also, many of us teachers review our class roster to see who we know – many of our students we have had in previous years or classes.  This past semester I reviewed my class roster and everything seemed normal and I had great kids, then I saw his name.  Let’s call him Rob.

I taught Rob as a freshman student.  He was tough: swearing in class, disrupting other students, and always getting in fights with other students.  He definitely kept me busy.  I  always stuck to my discipline plan and reiterated my expectations to him – expectations of the classroom and his potential.  We bumped heads a lot, but we made it through the school year.

I saw Rob occasionally over his Sophomore year, always greeting him in the hallway and asking how he is doing in the class.  This helped us gain a strong rapport.  But, he wasn’t doing well.  From his current teachers I heard he was still getting in fights and smoking pot.

Now, I have Rob back again as a Junior.  Within the first days, we have had some problems: tardiness and speaking when I am speaking.  Yikes.  Here we go again.  I followed my discipline plan and we have already had a student conference (on the third day of school).  This time is a little different.  I believe he knows that I genuinely want him to do well in class and succeed in general.  This helps create some leverage when disciplining.  My fear though is that this leverage will soon dissipate over the coming weeks.

I am going to hope for the best and keep trying to guide Rob in the right direction, but I would be  a fool to not acknowledge this isn’t going to be easy.