I saw her name on my class list. It was one of "those" names. All teachers knew the family and the background. I remembered her mom in seventh grade.
I watched her in the halls during freshman open house as she wandered without friends from room to room, accompanied only by her step-father, himself from one of "those" families. Fearful, she figured out where she needed to go each hour. What a contrast to most of the other kids who laughed and greeted friends as they danced from room to room.
I greeted the two of them as they stepped into my room. A dirty face, unkept hair, clothes that had seen their better days, it was hard to imagine she was a freshman girl. The only words she spoke were, "I'm scared to come here."
My heart broke. Tears filled my eyes.
Let it be me. Let me be the teacher that makes school a safe place for her. Let me be the teacher she connects with. Let me be the teacher that makes a difference in her life.
Let it be me.