Saturday, September 26, 2015

Celebrating Resilency

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Not gonna lie.

At some points this week I felt I was drowning in despair.

Students are writing expressive/reflective pieces for me and the stories I am reading are not the happy-go-lucky, beach party, silly teenage antics that so many people believe high school student life is like.

I'm reading stories of abuse and neglect, family suicide, and homelessness.
I'm reading stories of loneliness
I'm reading stories of self-abuse, family issues, and fear of deportation.

They believed me when I told them

Your Story Matters.

They took those words to heart and shared with me the parts of themselves they seldom share with others. They trusted me.  And slowly, most of them are trusting at least one other student in class with that story.

That's reason to celebrate.

They laugh, they smile, they relax in my room.

That's reason to celebrate.

They are committed to finishing school and they come most days and work hard to make the ending to their story happy.

And that's reason to celebrate.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I Failed Today

I failed today.

I removed a student from my room. Not that the removal wasn't warranted in most cases.

But I know this kid. Know him well. I know that when the insubordinate, defiant voice comes out he is hurting. I know something happened in his world that added a few more bricks to his wall.

I intended to find him a quiet spot where he could be alone, but one sentence changed all that.

"Good. I need to meet the new principal anyway."

Fine I thought Let me introduce you.

That was my failure. I let him goad me into something I had no intention of doing. He pushed a button and I reacted.

And it wasn't what he needed.

He needed a spot away from others to nurse whatever wounds had been opened. He needed me to understand, to be a sounding board, to be a safe place.

I had one job today and I failed.