I have several students that require extra help. Since it’s still the beginning of the new semester, my co-teachers and I have planned activities to aid us in identifying our students in need of one-on-one assistance. In every class there seems to be at least two or three.

It just so happens one of these students is my neighbor. He literally lives in the apartment next to me. I hear him everyday, and never realized how behind he was in class.

Last week I took note of how hard it was for him to simply answer, “How’s it going?” By now most students his age are way beyond this point. How did the boy next door slip through the cracks?

Today my co-teacher and I conducted a simple quiz. We were reviewing ordinal numbers in class, and wanted to see if students could identify and spell them correctly. First. Second. Third. Fourth. And so on.

At first glance it looked like everyone was fine. But, upon closer observation I realized the boy next door was pretending to write. When I stood over his shoulder, he covered his paper. When I attempted to lift his notebook, he held on as if I was trying to take away his only possession in life.

The boy next door didn’t want me to know he was struggling. He didn't want his peers to see either. He was embarrassed, so I helped him as discreetly as possible. I understand fitting in is one of the biggest challenges kids face anywhere in the world. Peer pressure can be such a hindrance when it comes to learning.

Even if everything seems to be okay on the surface, someone right next to you might be having a hard time with something. Check in. Observe the signs. I’ll definitely keep the boy next door in mind, and I’ll do what I can to provide him with the extra help he needs.


  1. It seems like the quiet ones are the most overlooked, and sometimes the most in need. Glad you're keeping an eye out, Chase.

    1. Unfortunately, I feel like even though I've been able to identify students in need of extra assistance, I haven't been able to help them. Makes me sad.


Post a Comment