Harry Wong
Dec 2017
Vol 14 No 4

At-Risk Student Credo

By Bill Page

By Bill Page

If you’re inspired by Bill’s At-Risk Student Credo you’ll want to order his book. >

Bill Page says what he believes at-risk students would tell us, if they could.

At-Risk Student Credo


Don’t try to change me–you can’t do it. I am the only one who can change me.

Show me, teach me, help me to see what you see. I can change myself.


Don’t try to coerce, to manipulate, or to control me by your professional power.

I am never powerless. I’m just forced to use my power in aberrant ways.


Don’t try to pressure or to force me into being obedient, submissive, and polite.

Teach me to choose those traits, if and when I see them as appropriate.


Don’t try to be my friend. Share some of your personal thoughts and feelings.

Get to know me, my interests, and ambitions. We might become friends.


Don’t always tell, correct, and lead me. Sometimes you just need to stand back.

Listen, acknowledge, observe, accept, understand, and follow my lead.


Don’t spend time trying to help me, unless I want the help. It won’t do any good.

Ask if I need or want help. Let me show how you can help me help myself.


Don’t try to make me listen or pay attention to your lessons. You can’t make me.

The most you can do is make me act like I’m listening or paying attention.


Don’t take away my right to refuse or say “no.” Don’t force me into compliance.

Saying “no” is a way I have of protecting myself; I need my right to refuse.


Don’t take away my struggle. Just help me struggle for things that are worthwhile.

Like you, I’m willing to struggle for anything I feel might be worth the effort.


Please permit me to remind you, respectfully of course, that:

We’re together each day. I learn what you’re like, how you act, and who you are.

I am learning your attitude, feelings, and values–I can press your buttons!


We’re part of each other’s lives. I didn’t choose you, and you didn’t choose me.

Teaching-Learning needs give-and-take on both our parts, not just mine.


All I want or expect is acceptance as a human being, having worth and dignity.

I’m living the only life I have, I have ever known, or ever will have. I am I.


Respect is earned, but it cannot be earned through intimidation, or compliance.

Let me learn, be me, and be responsible. Mutual respect is…uh, mutual.


I didn’t ask to be “at-risk.” I don’t want to be “at-risk.” I can’t do anything about it.

Educators created school programs. Educators can change them—I can’t.


By Bill Page Author of  At Risk Students: Feeling Their Pain, Understanding Their Plight, Accepting Their Defensive Ploys

Post your reactions and comments below.



Comment on this article...

Next Article...
This entry was posted on Sunday, September 1st, 2013 and is filed under *ISSUES, Bill Page, September 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
By State
AL   AK   AZ   AR   CA   CO   CT   DE   DC   FL   GA   HI   ID   IL   IN   IA   KS   KY   LA    ME   MD   MA   MI   MN   MS   MO   MT   NE   NV   NH   NJ   NM   NY   NC   ND   OH   OK   OR   PA   RI   SC   SD   TN   TX   UT   VT     VA   WA   WV   WI   WY