Monday, September 26, 2011

Following Up

Every now and then I stalk my old students on facebook.  I know, that is creepy but the things I learn are so rewarding.

One of my all time favorite students was pictured in the Washington Post recently.  The article was about a White House advisor who came and spoke to about 100 Dunbar students.  The 100 most outstanding students, that is.  I was not one bit surprised to see Shafae there.  She was so gorgeous and so grown up and I couldn't help but be excited for her successes in life.

I found out "the twins" are not only playing college football, but on such a good team (and such good players) they are part of the XBox game, NCAA 12.  How would that be, to be a video game character?  I'm also very proud of them, a college scholarship to play sports was always their big goal. The caption under their pictures of fame were things like "I'm so blessed" and "thanks to those who got me here."

I'm always reminded of the heartbreak as well.  Ra'Heem's death.  Meyka never went to college.  And on and on.

One of the many posts I started and never finished was a rambling of "what I miss the most" about teaching.  I'm only going to include this one paragraph.  I think it captured my point pretty well.

I don't just miss teenagers in general. I miss having a set of students I feel a sort of stewardship over.  I loved watching struggling readers grow in their confidence. I loved helping "nerdy" girls feel beautiful inside. I loved the off beat humor of rowdy boys, and making the whole class giggle aloud when I could keep up with them. These lines make me sound like I loved what I did for the kids, but that's not really it.  I loved what they did for me. They made dealing with difficult supervisors a minuscule part of my day. They made working 12 hour days and only getting paid for 7 of them feel like a blessing. -- written 9/10/11

The amazing part is that the experiences I shared with them can still feel like a blessing, all these years later.

2 comments:

Polly Blevins said...

It is so nice to see people reach or start to reach their potential. There is nothing greater than seeing someone with low self-esteem/worth come out of it and realize that they can do it. I worked with troubled teens for a few years. Loved it! That breakthrough moment is the most rewarding moment ever. I never wonder how people can love working with those teens, just how people can tolerate their parents. The sad thing is, if the teen doesn't get it, the teen turns into the parent that is hard to work with. nasty cycle.

Scott and Claudia said...

Now you have a 'new' student you have stewardship over. You will watch and listen as he struggles to learn life in general and grow in his knowledge and confidence. You will enjoy his rowdy sense of humor. You will love what he does for you. He will make working 24/7 feel like a blessing! What a good little 'student' he is! Love ya, Mom

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