The third term of the year is very hard. The kids are done with school, and frankly(I don't know why it concerns Frank, either) the teachers are too! I have felt very much like I am done with the horrible language, the sexual remarks, dress code violations and bad attitudes. I find that my patience in minuscule and that I am having a hard time loving my students.
Well, just when I needed it most, one of my favorite former students walked into my classroom yesterday during the last period of the day. He was one of my Leadership students who graduated two years ago and who I had as a student in my Leadership class for all four of his high school years. He was one of my favorites because he was sensitive and would do anything that I asked him to do(that is always an amazing characteristic in my students) and he truly cared not only for me but for the students he went to school with.
The reason for his visit was to make amends in a way. He felt as if he had lied to his teachers because he put on a face that said everything was alright, but in fact, he was battling depression and was suicidal. (This was pretty interesting to me because I knew all along he was depressed and often talked with his dad about said depression and the worry I had for him. This student thought he was hiding this from both his dad and his teachers, silly kid!) He also came to tell me thank you because he felt that if it were not for the care that I showed him, he wouldn't be here today. I was truly touched. This is the reason I go to work everyday. It isn't for the money(although I do like to be able to pay rent and for food), the prestige(haha, yeah right), or the great hours(ha ha again! Yeah right, teachers only work 8-3, right?). The reason I get out of bed everyday is because there may be one student whom I need to talk to that day. There may be one kid who needs a non-judgement ear, or a shoulder to cry on. I am there to help the one. Sure it would be great to say that I can change each and every kid, but in reality, I can only help those who will accept it. It was truly an honor to have this student thank me and tell me he had always considered me one of his friends.
I wear a bracelet that says "Love Them More." It is inspired by a tattoo on Kelly Clarkson's right wrist. The story behind it is that Kelly would often talk to her step-father about people who were bothering her and he would just say: "Well, maybe you need to love them more." Sometimes, the people who are hardest to love, are the ones who need our love the most. I feel this way about the kids I work with everyday. They don't need another person to point out their weaknesses or to constantly be putting them in the wrong. They just need somebody to love them. Today, I told my Connections class(the replacement to Leadership) the story of my former student and promised that I was going to be more full of love. It is the month of love after all, isn't it?
May we all be a little more committed to open our hearts to those around us and to spread love around. I think the messed up world we live in needs it. So get out there and love people. Just LOVE! Open doors for those behind you, let people into you lane when you would rather not to, smile at random strangers, help a mom with crying kids, carry things for elderly people(or young people too!), ask a co-worker how their day is, be happy for those around you. There are so many things we can do to make the world a better place. We just need to notice where we can help and the courage to do so. Just do it!
Love you all,