"And I said, Here am I, send me."

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 04 2012

Blink of an Eye.

There’s not too much to report on since I last updated.

There’s needs to be a moment of celebration to take place because Black October is over. If that’s the worst 31 days of the year then let’s keep on truckin’. The people in my life made those 31 days go by about as quick as it possible could. So just like in my last post, thanks to all the people in my life walking by my side and supporting me. You rock. For real.

In other news, there’s been one thing tugging on my heart more than anything else. It happens all the time. Happened all the time last year. I’m aware of it. But every time it happens, it catches me completely off guard.

It’s crazy to me how literally with the blink of an eye, my kids’ lives can completely change. One second their lives are going in one direction and then one second later everything completely changes. I forget how naive I still am sometimes. I remember growing up thinking my life was unstable and how things were ALWAYS changing. But compared to these kids…my life was about as stable as a foundation for a house.

Something that is not abnormal is the constant enrollment/withdrawal process at our school. Kids are always enrolling and always withdrawing. One day they live in the KCMO district. Two days later they’re moving to Mississippi. Or wherever. One day they live on Tracy. Two weeks later they live on Prospect. Sometimes it’s money. Their parents lose the house. Sometimes they’re moving in with a friends. Sometimes they’re moving because of behavior problems. Whatever it is….their lives are CONSTANTLY on the move.

My brightest student this year I just found out is withdrawing. Well, her mom withdrew her on Friday. She’s taking them back to Mississippi because her brother’s behavior is out of control and she’s thinking going back with extended family may be helpful. Again, this type of situation is not abnormal. And I’ve already gone through it twice this year with two other students in a similar form. I know T had no idea she was going until 2 days before. But truthfully I’m not sure I believed it would actually happen until I saw the paperwork.

It’s not worth getting too much into, for more reasons than one, but T’s behavior had slowly been slipping the last 2 weeks she was with me. I honestly believe in her heart she knew change was about to happen..again…and she was sick of it. I pulled T aside at Support on Wednesday. She had been horse-playing and getting into it with others for two days straight and I was done with it. Long story short. I spoke my thoughts very clearly to her in a very firm voice. T always listens when I talk with her. But that day she smirked and turned her head. So finally, at one point I told her “and the fact that you’re smirking is why frustrates me the most, because I’m not laughing.” Then I proceeded to walk away.

Who would have ever thought that would be my last interaction with T?

I’ve been questioning that conversation for 2 days now. In my heart, I’m hoping that conversation is maybe T can think about and can help her grow. And not be one where someone else walked away on her.

T – wherever you are, I hope you know that you are way too smart, brilliant, talented, beautiful, funny, to ever settle for average and not go for you dreams. Your future is what you make of it.

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