To the teachers of seventh grade:

August 2011,

What you have coming for your class is your dream student. The one who is quiet, doesn’t talk back, and most always finishes the work he was told to finish. What you have is an almost 13 year old boy. Entering into a new stage in his life. A new school, with new teachers, and new surroundings. He wont ask you for help, and he wont tell you if he doesn’t understand. He would much rather fail a grade than he would ask for help.

Hes the quiet kind. The sturdy one. A boy of few words, but the words he does speak are usually words worth hearing. A boy of few friends, but the friends he does have are friends worth having. True friends. Who will be in the same classes as he is this year. You will have a group of very well behaved boys, I can tell you that much.

I have to ask one thing, however. Just because he is quiet, and doesn’t case a problem. Just because he doesn’t raise his hand, and hardly ever speaks, and just because you will probably never know his name unless you look at your paper work, please don’t pass him up. Please don’t over look him, and let him slide by.

You probably wont even notice him. He will slip in, and slip out. Preferring to go unnoticed, undetected. You wont have to call his name (which you wont know) a hundred and twenty times in a period. You wont have to send him to the principals office, and you wont ever have to worry about him getting into trouble. Atleast not yet. His time is coming. For now, he will be there when you least expect it. When you are over your head in something, or need one word of encouragement. You wont know where he came from, and you probably wont know where he goes…but he will be there, in that moment. Its who he is. Its what he lives for. Its how he works.

He struggles in things, and takes a little longer to finish stuff. He works hard, but doesn’t always succeed, and never asks for help. Please help him. He might be there longer than the rest, he might need to have something explained to him a hundred and one times – and even then, he might walk away simply not knowing. It takes him longer to read things, and he doesn’t do good under pressure. He isn’t very social, and would be perfectly happy to be left alone in the corner with one item, than in a room with a thousand people, and hundreds of activities.

I can almost guarantee you that he wont cause you any trouble. Unless he does, and then it is one of those random moments where the boy inside took over and he let loose the past 12 years of being quiet. But most times, you will just laugh. Because he will say something or do something so completely random, that you just cant help but laugh.

Don’t put him with a partner who is a girl. Oh help us all if he has to talk to a girl. Or walk past one for that matter. Were working on social/life skills, and maybe you could help him out by not putting him in one of these situations. He will drain of all color, and the only words you will get out of him is a few stutters. Its not that he doesn’t like them, its that he gets nervous. It will be a while before I have to chase them off. Its ok with me. Don’t push it.

I know he will grow this year. Both mentally, physically, emotionally. Hes growing now, and will continue to. Hes changing, and I think you might be one of the last class rooms to have a quiet, calm, slow tempered boy. Next year Im envisioning a loud, obnoxious, wild and rambunctious teenager. I know. Laugh with me. I just had to throw that out there.

Help him grow, teach him what you are suppose to, and leave the rest to other people. Hes not abused, or behind. Please don’t give him these ideas. Hes doing good where he is at, and is outgrowing this awkward stage in his life. Stuck somewhere between the quiet little boy, and the full blown teenager who wants to come out. Help him with the things you are to help him with, and watch him…He wont disappoint.

His spelling sucks, and his handwriting isn’t much better – I could say he gets that from me, but I wont admit to anything. Enjoy him…its not that hard.

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