I teach intensive academics language arts to 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
Around the time a student reaches their 14th birthday the uncomfortable decision about diploma options comes up during a student's IEP.
I despise the fact that we have to determine a students track of diplomas at such a young age, but unfortunately no one asked for my opinion.
Typically, 7th grade is the year the dreaded decision must be made. In order to earn a standard diploma a student must take general education classes and have a limited amount of intensive classes. Now a diploma options can change if a student switches from intensive to general education classes.
Well, one such 7th grader was put on a special diploma track and this decision did not sit well with him. I am not exactly sure what happened to this student, but after his IEP he turned into a new student. Very focused and determined to accomplish any task given to him.
here is one conversation that took place in class after his IEP:
Student: "Miss, can you believe that they are giving me a special diploma?"
Me: "Well, do you think you deserve a special diploma?"
Student: "Miss, do you see the work I am doing?"
Me: "Yes, and you are doing a fantastic job at it!"
Student: "Then why in the world am I getting a special diploma?"
Me: "Because you are taking all intensive classes"
Student: "Well, I am going to change my diploma. There is no way I am getting a special one!"
Me: "What changes are you going to make to determine you earn a standard diploma?"
Student: "Miss, I am going to make sure no one gets in my way on earning a standard diploma and if someone does get in my way they are going to have to deal with me!"
Me: "That sounds like an interesting plan."
Student: "You better believe it!"
if you could read the student part with a hint of a Hispanic accent it might sound better