The Kid that No One Wanted

Last summer I found a video based on a book by Brad Engel that helped motivate me to get ready for the new school year.  As I was busy planning units and trying to stuff as much technology as I could into the year it made me pause and remember to say “welcome” to each kid that enters my room…and really mean it.  No matter who they were, or what type of reputation or label they had.


  1. I agree it is a great reminder for the start of the year, but I think it’s even more important to view something like this right now; teachers are feeling less inspired than they did in the freshness of September. January – when the ugly realities of budgets that don’t meet needs have actually sunk in, when students who seem to need more accommodations than you can coordinate have multiplied and time constraints that didn’t seem so unreasonable initially now seem impossible…. yup… now is the perfect time for me to watch that video! Thanks.

  2. I’m pleased to know there are success stories out there, and I know we have them because I hear from some of them, years later. However, we have one student right now for whom we have done all of these things (and bought clothes for), yet he has made no changes over a two year period, only become worse to the point of being truant at a park where another student was stabbed to death. His mother has been threatened with jail time if he does not come to school so his attendance has improved a bit, but his work is nonexistent. It’s hard.

  3. Whenever I have a kid like that, the only thing I can say to myself is “imagine where he would be if we had not been doing all that.” There have many kids that I have had that I knew I succeeded simply when they left me exactly where they started.

  4. Wow.
    You never really know what impact a smile or “Hey, how’ya doing?” have on a kids life. There is the story of a kid who saw a teacher a few years after he got out of middle school. This kid fit the description of the kid in the video. Well, that kid told the teacher that he saved his life. The teacher said, “How did I do that?” and the kid said, “There was one day when I went down the hall. I was invisible to the other kids. But you smiled at me, and asked how I was and told me to have a great day.” The kid paused. “That day, I was going to kill myself. But I didn’t, because you smiled at me.”
    I will send this on to the folks I work with. We all tend to forget the kids who don’t stand out, who blend in, or hide out in the classes. I can think of at least 5 right off the bat on our middle school team.
    You can bet I will seek them out next week. Thanks for the video.

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