From Big Fish to Small Fish: One Story of a Failed Transition

This is the story of 8th grader Dara, whose middle school teachers failed him, literally and figuratively. Dara was doing okay despite his traumatic childhood. He was a big fish in a small pond. But, he failed two classes, and had to repeat the 8th grade. When he entered the 9th grade his friends had moved on and he was lonely and unmotivated. He was a small fish in a big pond. He dropped out in 9th grade, joined a gang, committed crimes, and was incarcerated for more than 20 years. In this session, Dara shares his experiences and advice to middle school teachers.

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