Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On the Road Again

I awoke this morning to a chill in the air. I found my arms wrapping themselves around my body to not just provide warmth, but to ward off the chill that came from deep within me. A chill that comes from knowing what lies ahead. And this year I think I am dreading it.

For every year, it is mornings like this, cool dry fall-like mornings, that begin to remind me of how little time I have to prepare myself for the onslaught of the impressionable young minds, bodies and souls I will once again be steward of. Two short weeks and it begins.

I don't know if I am ready this year. I don't know if my heart is restored enough. You see every year there are those students who take a piece of my heart with them. Last year there were more than usual. So many needy kids. Only one of me.

I have worried about one in particular this summer. I spent hours with this kid, not only teaching, but supporting him through one crisis after another. Trying to motivate him in spite of all the hell he was living. It was difficult at its best and shear hell at its worst.

His father recently made the news. I know the boy is devastated. I tried to find this young man at his mother's. It appears she has been evicted once again...if an apt. full of belongings on the curb is a clue. I don't know where he is. My only hope is he will come back to see me.

His story is not unique. It happens all too often in my building and I work in a pretty upper middle class district. As much as people would like to think, education is no longer about reading, writing and arithmetic. It is about supporting these kids where they are so they can learn. And on any given day, who knows where that might be.

I need the summer to heal from the pain these kids live. I need to heal so my heart can be whole to piece out to more needy students. Because as an educator, I can tell you I live their pain with them. If I did not have this break, I would never have the chance to become whole again. There would be nothing left to give.

And while last year was tough, I will be there for this year's crew. I never want to be that educator who cares more about the content than cares about the kid. I always want them to know they come first. I always want them to know there is a piece of my heart for them. I always want to be the one in her car, they chase down the street screaming, " We love you Mrs. .............................."


Anonymous said...

I understand. Parents are lucky to have teachers like you working with their kids. You give a lot of yourself, don't you? You make them sound like your own kids.

Thank You for all You do, Lucy.....


Epijunky said...

Those kids are lucky to have you. You serve such an integral role in their lives.

I wish there were more like you.

Jean said...

Bless you for leaving your heart open for them.
Wishing you strength for this year's challenges.

Brigid said...

What a perfect tribute to what it means to be a teacher. I was fortunate, in that I had a couple like you. And it shaped my whole future.

Carteach0 said...

I start in-service in a few days, and the little angels start pouring in shortly after.

50 brand new high school seniors, who I must escort through one of the most formative years of their life.

Yes.... it's hard to stay detached. The job is easier if we can.... but impossible if we do... Paradox.

Well written post!


2sweetnsaxy said...

This brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to children and I pray for them. People like you are some of our living angels that walk the earth. I pray for whatever peace and strength you need to continue to wear your wings. They need you and though the world may not realize it and you may not get paid what you are really worth, the world needs you doing just what you do. Even if all you do is give an ear and shoulder, and sometimes that is all you can do, please know you have still given more than they usually get and it is not lost.

My heart and prayers go up for you. God bless.

I See You!