Backpacks Full of Burden: The Secret Lives of Struggling Students

Backpacks Full of Burden: The Secret Lives of Struggling Students
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I have learned a lot from the children in my classrooms over the years. It has not been an even trade. I hone my craft and find new and engaging ways to reach as many as possible, but every year I walk away with more than I gave. Children come from varied worlds, homes, and conditions that greatly affect their ability, motivation, and emotional state. Sometimes the hurdles a teacher must find a way around are immense. And every day dedicated teachers look for any and all ways to defy the odds that weigh some students down. Here are some of my moments over the years. I have been Teacher of the Year at three different schools, for my school district, and for Los Angeles County. I've been honored not because I was the smartest guy in the room. The single greatest skill I bring to any situation is empathy. I care. It's the only shot you have at some of the kids placed before you. Here's a unique view of a teacher's journey through the students that had to reach. Happy reading!

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