The kid at the front of the class asks, “Do you love us?”
I’m really caught off-guard by this. I want to say yes, but I don’t, because I’m afraid of how the word will get misinterpreted. So I say something positive.
Then I‘m really caught off-guard.
“Do you hate us?”
Again I say something positive, I forget exactly what. But I know I’m making progress when they ask even the hardest questions.
Kevin asks me, “How long you been married?”
‘Going on twenty-one years.’
“How you stay faithful twenty-one year?” This from a kid who is all of fourteen.
Malcolm and Wanita volunteer to clean up my room. They sweep and decide to take a bit of a break. Leaning against their respective brooms, they chat and, in that way students do, forget I’m there.
“Yea, I know what you mean, Malcolm. My mama’s boyfriend was stabbed the other night too …”.
I know I’m getting somewhere with my students when I can leave the room for some time, and the room is still there when I get back.
“Because we want you to trust us,” Shakeisha says.
Which puts me in mind of Publius’s Rule # 21: Trust students implicitly — then check twice.