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The power of (low) expectations

Here’s one Bronx middle school science teacher on a reward gone wrong:

Also, one kid saved up enough paycheck points to buy a positive phone call home, which was quite an accomplishment because she is extremely chatty. So I called her mom and started raving about her daughter, but her mom kept responding with, What are you talking about, I know she talks too much in class! I replied that she is a little chatty, but she’s obviously very bright and she probably talks because she’s not being challenged enough (which was a bit of a stretch, but not a complete fabrication), and her mom came back with, That’s no excuse, she knows how to behave! So I feel really bad, because I think my positive phone call home ended up getting her in trouble…oops.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.