The context: Chemistry with my Grade 10s, last period before a 4-day weekend, with a hoe down in their pockets. My student receives a phone call. I’m like ” REALLY!”
I hear him say, “Can I call you back because my teacher is going to blow?”
I ask him… “What is up with that?”
He says, ” She’s a really nice person and she’s stuck. Her car’s broken down and she called me for help.”
So I said, “Go ahead outside and call her back.” He looked at me in disbelief and called her back.
15 minutes later, having missed some big ideas, he came back in and got back to work. He talked to me after class and thanked me for letting him call her. Her car had broken down on Hwy. 3 on the way to Princeton. She was on her own. My student is 15 with an IEP. He struggles with written output but is bright and loquacious/ chatty. He was able to tell his friend how to figure out what was wrong with her vehicle. He sounded mature beyond his years, valued and respected. I’m thinking that some things (many things) are far more important than being able to draw a Bohr model of an ion.