A Bronx Science Tale

by Robert Pondiscio
February 22nd, 2010

Funny thing happened on the way to work this morning.   I walked into the subway at 149th Street and 3rd Avenue in the Bronx a few blocks from my former elementary school.  Two police officers were questioning a kid who I immediately recognized as one of my former 5th graders, a very bright, straight-arrow kid.  I asked the officers and my student what was going on and was told he had jumped the turnstile.  The police asked me his age and a few other questions. I assured them he was a terrific kid and one of my best students; they let him leave with me without issuing a summons. The kid was clearly shaken up and didn’t deny he had jumped the turnstile, but said he was late for school.  No excuse, obviously.  I was just about to read him the Riot Act when he dropped the bombshell: he just got admitted into Bronx Science, a hypercompetitive selective New York City high school. I was stunned.  And elated.  So much so that I forgot my lecture. 

As a teacher, you live for moments like this. I’m still going to chew him out for being so irresponsible.  Just not today.

6 Comments »

  1. Thanks. I needed that.

    Comment by Nancy Flanagan — February 22, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

  2. Great story, Robert.

    He owes it all to his fifth grade teacher, evading the summons and being admitted to Bronx Science. Make sure you remind him of that when you call him at home.

    Comment by Paul Hoss — February 22, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  3. Love it.

    Our experience with cops and DAs has been if an educator vouches for the kid, that goes a long way.

    Comment by GGW — February 22, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  4. What a great story! So when are you returning to the classroom? I never realized how much I missed it until I returned.

    Comment by Yolanda Van Ness — February 22, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

  5. It’s nice to hear there are still people out there doing good deeds. What with all you read in the papers, you hardly expect stuff like that nowadays.

    Great story. Not only teachers, but also bloggers are constantly waiting for moments like these.

    Comment by NYC Educator — February 23, 2010 @ 5:52 am

  6. That is a wonderful story.

    I often wonder what has become of my students. When I taught middle school, students would come back to visit my classroom (on days that the high schools had off). Some security guards would let them in; others would yell at them and send them away.

    Comment by Diana Senechal — February 23, 2010 @ 11:51 am

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