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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 25 2010

Deadbeat Dad

In addition to what I’m sure is a whole host of neurochemical issues, I think part of Sidewinder’s insanity stems from the complete void of male role models in his life. Every man in his family is either in jail or AWOL, and I really think that he simply does not know how a man is supposed to act. This theory is backed up by the fact that the only teacher he behaves for is the only male teacher in seventh grade, and Sidewinder loves him – he seeks him out before and after school to talk about sports and video games, and goes out of his way to do well in his class.

I got more evidence for my theory today, when Sidewinder was in an inexplicably good mood and did not curse out or hit another student once the whole period. After class he pulled me aside to excitedly inform me that his dad was visiting and had bought him a pet lizard, and could I help him research lizards and how to take care of it, and by the way it’s the coolest lizard ever, and his dad got it for him, and maybe could he bring it in to show the class, and did he mention that it was from his dad?! It was kind of heartbreaking to see such a tough kid reduced to such childish glee because his deadbeat dad has temporarily appeared with presents, all the while knowing that the dad is not going to stay around for long. I’m thrilled that Sidewinder is so happy and is positively contributing to our class, but I’m bracing myself for the shitstorm that will be unleashed when his dad disappears again…

One Response

  1. Mom

    Poor Sidewinder. Does he get to bring the lizard?

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Hopefully not blinding any of my students with science…

New York
Middle School

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