Sam had big dreams and little luck.
“Why are teachers always making us kids write these booping book reports? Sam asked me as he slammed down his copy of Diary of A Wimpy Kid.
“They want to know what you learned from the book,” I explained, “It should be easy since I read the entire book to you outloud.”
“Then you can do the booping book report.”
“Yeah, not gonna happen, Sam.”
“This booping sucks.”
“And could we stop with all the booping, please?”
“What? Why can’t I say boop?”
“You know why, Sam.” Sam grinned. For the first few months of fourth grade, every other word out of Sam’s mouth had been profanity. Since Sam was unfazed by any sort of punishment, it had been difficult to stop him from infiltrating the classroom with inappropriate language. There was only one thing that Sam enjoyed at school: P.E. class and so our school principal threatened to ban Sam from every Physical Education class until he stopped cussing. That was the day Sam started “booping” out every curse word.
“Am I annoying you?” Sam asked. I had worked with the kid every afternoon for almost nine months now. I had come to New York Elementary, a small neighborhood school in a low-income neighborhood in Lawrence, Kansas to teach Reading. After several rounds of budget cuts by the state, my position was eliminated and I was offered a job as Paraeducator, which is really just a fancy name for a babysitter. I spent my days trying to keep those students who had been diagnosed with a behavior disorder from burning down the school. It was an exhausting and low-paying job and yet I looked forward to going to work everyday. A lot of that had to do with Sam.
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