Helping Andy

No 'bad apples' in the classroom

Some of andy's teachers might have seen him as a "bad apple." He was the type of student teachers hoped wouldn't be assigned to their classes—loud, argumentative, uncooperative. At least, that's how he appeared when he entered eight grade. But something had happened during the summer: Some people who sponsored a Boy Scout troop at their church "introduced Andy to God."

I don't know exactly what Andy learned about God that summer, but I believed him when he told me he wanted to change. My role in Andy's life at that point was to support his progress and to show him how to change his behavior so his actions would reflect his newfound desire to be and do good. I was also to help his teachers encourage his attempts to be good, instead of emphasizing and reacting to his slip-ups.

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June 10, 2002
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