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.

Do you have pretty good students?

I have the greatest group of students ever this year.  I know that is tough to say, all kids are great and that sorta thing.  But this year I think that they are just a super group.  I have been questioning whether that has allowed me to relax, to sit back and maybe not push so hard.  I wonder if I have settled into just doing a pretty good job because the kids make it so easy.  Or is it that I have challenged them and they are just so good at dealing with a paradigm shift in classroom environments.

Those thoughts made me dig up a poem that I started messing around with to use in class at the end of the year.  It makes me remember that being pretty good, is not good enough.

Pretty Good, by Charles Osgood

There once was a pretty good student
Who sat in a pretty good class
And was taught by a pretty good teacher
Who always let pretty good pass.

He wasn’t terrific at reading,
He wasn’t a whiz-bang at math,
But for him, education was leading
Straight down a pretty good path.

He didn’t find school too exciting,
But he wanted to do pretty well,
And he did have some trouble with writing
Since nobody taught him to spell.
When doing arithmetic problems,
Pretty good was regarded as fine.

5+5 needn’t always add up to be 10;
A pretty good answer was 9.

The pretty good class that he sat in
Was part of a pretty good school,
And the student was not an exception:
On the contrary, he was the rule.

The pretty good school that he went to
Was there in a pretty good town,
And nobody there seemed to notice
He could not tell a verb from a noun.
The pretty good student in fact was
Part of a pretty good mob.

And the first time he knew what he lacked was
When he looked for a pretty good job.

It was then, when he sought a position,
He discovered that life could be tough,
And he soon had a sneaking suspicion
Pretty good might not be good enough.

The pretty good town in our story
Was part of a pretty good state
Which had pretty good aspirations
And prayed for a pretty good fate.

There once was a pretty good nation
Pretty proud of the greatness it had,
Which learned much too late,
If you want to be great,
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.

I am working with the poem and changing the ending to create a video to show to my kids on the last day of school. A bit rough, would love suggestions.

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The 2008 Weblog Awards