A few years ago, a small miracle in learning occurred in the home of a single mom whose third grader melted down about his homework.
Karen had taken Jamal to the dentist. He'd missed two hours of school, and didn't know his homework assignment. Learning was a daily struggle for him.
When he realized that he couldn't reach his teacher, he exploded, upset about falling behind once again. He cried long and hard. His mom stayed with him. At the lowest point, he stormed from room to room, then crawled into their empty bathtub, sobbing in despair, and told her, "I'd rather go to the dentist every single day of the year than go back to school for even one day!" Karen had listened to Jamal's upsets before, and it had helped, so though it wasn't easy, she kept listening.
Then, after his worst feelings had been aired, his mind cleared. He brightened. He decided he would call the principal! He made the call himself, explained his situation, and asked her if she could contact his teacher for him. He was calm, polite, and ardent. The principal said she would try. Within fifteen minutes, his teacher called, gave him his assignment, and he put down the phone, victorious!