Sunday, April 19, 2009

Making a difference

I have had the opportunity to tell new teachers to take care with their words, theirs might be only kind voice that student hears all day. Over the course of the last decade I've had a hand full of students come back after graduation to tell me how much I meant to them. It makes my heart glad, truly, but I am always a little bewildered. Why me? I'm just not that special. But I am happy that I made a difference. I try at least to do no harm. I had a student once many years ago who checked out of school one day, right after my class, and went home to commit suicide. That weighs heavy on me. I'm pretty sure I had nothing to do with it, but....
I have a student in one of my classes who moved in several months ago from Very Far Away. She has had a lot to deal with and has not dealt with it well at all. She has been very angry. Her mother has tried to help her her, even had her hospitalized for a few days until she could regain control. She came to my class to make up some work before school began, and then stayed to help me with some work, and she did a great job. I asked her if she could be my girl, Friday. She has come back several mornings, even one morning that she had a doctor's appointment and was missing the first part of the school day. Her mother emailed me that day to thank me and to tell me that the girl was finally starting to feel like she belonged and had really improved at home. Wow.

It is awesome to see her go from this angry chick to a funny, sweet girl who doesn't want to disappoint her teacher. And I am honored to be a part of it.

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