Saturday, February 03, 2007

Just in Time

Currently, my teaching position includes rescuing about 25 8th grade students who are in danger of not passing the state test in math. We call this program "Just in Time" because once they leave middle school, their choices diminish for high school. There's a lot of pressure to bring these students up to speed, and often I'm concerned that my "just in time" just won't be good enough. They're beginning to invade my dreams and I worry whether or not we'll finish in time. In three weeks we'll find out. The FCAT is just around the corner.

I wasn't there at the beginning of the year to see how these students started the school year. I wasn't there for their 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th or any other school years to see how these gaping holes came to be. I don't live with them, so I don't know how to support them at home. All I can do is give them what I think they need for the time we have left and pray it will make a difference.

Often we find ourselves in a position to fill in a gap, clean up someone else's mess, or even take someone else's punishment. During those times we need to remember that the results we hope for may not show up right there and then. It may be years before you see the cumulative effect of what you did for that person "just in time."

As much as I pray these children will show gains on the FCAT, I can't guarantee it. But I do know, from experience, that the time we spent together will impact them. Maybe I'll be granted the privilege of seeing it lived out in their lives down the road.

Never tire in doing what's right. Time is running out. Do the right thing right now!