Education Week‘s Lesli Maxwell has written a number of heartbreaking, and sometimes inspiring, stories about schools in New Orleans this year, and her latest, ‘The Hurricane Messed a Lot of Us Up,’ is no exception.
The story is about a 16-year-old student, Giovanna Batiste, who returned to New Orleans after spending two years going to school in Houston. Now that she’s back in New Orleans, Giovanna says it’s harder to learn. “People come in late, or they talk over the teacher and you can’t hear the lesson,” she says in the article. “Or they clown around so much that everyone just goes crazy and the teacher can’t teach.”
In a video posted with the article, Giovanna talks about the lack of discipline and motivation in her classmates. Behavioral problems plague her classes, and even though numerous social workers and behavioral interventionists have been assigned to handle the unique challenges presented in the Recovery School District, they are overwhelmed by the amount of students who need help.
This story really draws attention to how much farther schools in New Orleans have to go, and how much more students in that area have to be self-motivated in order to succeed. It also shows how great an effect a positive school environment can have on student motivation. Click here to read more of Lesli’s stories about school recovery and reform in New Orleans. Also, check out Starting Over, Roslyn Smith’s blog about the challenges she faces as a charter school board president in the district.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.