...well, anything but this.
Shots were fired in a small town to the south of us. Our school district is not in lock down, although the schools closer are. It's scary.
And here's what is worse. One of the shooters is rumored to be a former student of our district. As soon as his name was announced, there were shakes of the head. Kind of like, Yeah. That makes sense. He always was trouble. And I know he could be....
He must be 25 or so now, but to me, he will always be 13 and sitting in my English class. Hair in his face. Doodling on his paper. Drawing cartoon characters. He almost never turned work in. When he did, it was a mess. Pencil smudges everywhere. He was often sent to the alternative classroom for behavior or late work.
I remember his dad died after he left my class. Mom didn't have much control over the three boys (brothers, whom I also had in class.) More serious trouble seemed to follow him. When I had the youngest of the three boys in class, he hated it when a teacher slipped and called him by a brother's name. He didn't want that reputation.
I look back now, with 20/20 vision. I see a young man who needed someone to care. Needed someone to hold out a hand and offer help. Someone to set boundaries and expectations.
No one did. It was easier to write him off as a bad one. Easier to expect the worse and ignore the good.
He was someone's kid. Someone's brother. And the adults in his life failed him.
And now, it seems, it may be too late.
So, the lesson for today is to take the time to connect to that kid in your class that no one likes. Smile at the "bad one" and ask how his/her day is going. Take a minute to give a pat on the back to the kid who never gets one.
Take the time to say You Matter.
|Thanks again, Christy Rush-Levine!|