The extra yearbook

It’s yearbook signing party day and I’m happy to discover myself on courtyard duty rather than the detention/no-go supervision list. It was a bright, hot, sunny day. I took roll, passed out the yearbooks, sent my kids out, loaded up on sunscreen and headed out myself.

I had bought a yearbook myself – at $10 each on the teacher discount, it’s worth it to have something on the shelves to remember the year by. Although I don’t remember putting much store in yearbooks as a kid myself. I only have one from my 6th, 8th, and 12th grade years – those transition years when I was promoted to a different school. Those yearbooks are sitting on my selves in my parent’s house now, gathering dust and wrinkles, sort of like how I’m beginning to gather dust and wrinkles.

There isn’t much difference between courtyard duty and detention supervision except the teachers occasionally get asked to sign a kid’s yearbook. While signing a few, I noticed one of my students whom I had tutored all year – let’s call him Craig (*not real name*). Craig had a lot of issues to deal with this past year including:

– continuously failing grades, except for a C- in my class during the third quarter, mainly because I made him come in every day after school for an hour to complete his work

– a grandmother with many health issues, physically and mentally; this grandmother is his main caretaker

– a dad who works two jobs just to make ends meet; depressing poverty

– no mom

He did have a much older sister who looked after him sometimes. He wrote a poem about her once for an English assignment that I made him do after his math work for the day was done. It was sweet.

I saw Craig sitting with his buddies (some whom I wouldn’t allow my own kid to hang around) and I saw he didn’t have a yearbook. Student prices are $45. I ran to my room and grabbed my own to give him.

“Thank you Miss…” he said in his trailing, Eeyore voice.

“You’re welcome.”

“Will you sign it for me?”

He handed the book back to me and I quickly scribbled the standard note next to my photo on the staff page. He carefully took it back and tucked it under his arm.

“Cool…thank you Miss…”

I wonder if his yearbook will be sitting on his shelves, 14 years from now, gathering wrinkles and dust like mine? But really, the book I could care less about. I’m more interested in the memory of the lesson given.

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