This student has just learned that they are going to have Ms. Gruwell again next year, and is very excited about it. S/he considers Ms. Gruwell the best teacher s/he has ever had, and says that many people who used to make her/him feel stupid are now showing interest in Ms. Gruwell’s class, despite previously labeling it the “Ghetto class” because of the high number of minorities in the class. These same students are now on the waiting list to enter Ms. Gruwell’s class and this student hopes that, if they do get in, they will treat the other students with the respect they deserve.
The shift that has taken place at school, as students from other classes want to join Ms. Gruwell’s group, highlights the extremely low expectations that had been placed on Ms. Gruwell and her students. The group’s success at overturning these expectations is remarkable. It proves that compassion and humility can go hand-in-hand with academic success.