Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Lives You Touch

T came in midyear, while I was in mid-crisis and slowly finding my stride in my first year of teaching. It was obvious that T didn’t want to be in school, and when I spoke to him about it he made it clear that school attendance was to keep his probation officer at bay only, and actual school work was not on the menu. I wasn’t exactly looking for another mission, amongst the sinking ship that was my 9th grade class, so I let it go and struck a deal that he’d stay half the day, and refrain from disrupting working students, and we’d get along fine. And we *did* get along well. He was a decent kid, respectful and rarely got into fights or verbal battles; but since he wasn’t part of my working class, I didn’t pay him much mind other than if he was there and if he was leaving working students alone. Sometimes T would complete an assignment on his own, and thus become a bleep on my teacher-radar, but mostly he just hung out in my room.


So imagine my surprise when today, a year later, T called me from the psychiatric center on his way to prison until 2009. The shock of the phone call didn’t come from my student being incarcerated (sadly, that doesn’t surprise me anymore) rather that I didn’t think my relationship with him warranted him reaching out. Nonetheless we chatted briefly about the “scuffle” that ended him in jail and his plans once he got out. He called to tell me he wrote me a letter, and to expect it soon. T wanted to know if he could be in my class when he got out if he promised to do work. I was touched, but confused. I wanted to ask him “Why me?” but my class was watching me expectantly, and I had to go back to my lesson.


It goes to show, that as a teacher, you may not always be aware of the lives you touch.

5 Comments:

Blogger Miss A said...

wow! Usually we don't know that we touched lives until after they graduated, some 10 or 15 years down the line. So this must be a great feeling.

Why you? Because you cared. Because you kept your word. Because you were honest.

Sunday, March 23, 2008 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger beth said...

Yay for touching lived! :)

You've been tagged... http://vertical-chaos.blogspot.com/2008/04/oh-helen-why-p.html

Happy weekend!

Saturday, April 05, 2008 6:49:00 AM  
Anonymous EDin08 said...

Hi Ms. C,

I just wanted to make sure that you were invited to our education "Blogger Summit". We hope you can make it and feel free to share this invitation with any other bloggers in the area that might be interested. The invitation is attached below.

Alex
ED In '08 Blogger Summit

--------------------------------

Strong American Schools is excited to announce the ED in '08 Blogger Summit. Conference details are as follows:

May 14th - 15th
Palomar Hotel, Washington DC
Registration is Free!

An opening reception is scheduled on the evening of Wednesday, May 14th. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served before the screening of a new documentary film on education, Two Million Minutes. A Q&A session with the filmmakers is set to follow.

Then join us for an all-day conference on May 15th. Nowhere else will you have an opportunity to meet and network with fellow education bloggers, participate in panels, attend workshops, and help tackle some tough questions on the state of education in America.

Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP today!

Register at http://edin08.com/bloggersummit/

Sunday, April 27, 2008 8:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 9th grade highschool teacher reached out to me. I remember the first day she reached out to grab my cock as if it was yesterday.

Friday, May 02, 2008 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Jay said...

Hey Ms C: Going to write any more? I was enjoying reading you for the last year and a half. Keep touching those lives, and remember your public misses you!
Michael J,
Toronto, Canada

Monday, May 26, 2008 8:14:00 PM  

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