When I went on a winery trip in July, I spoke with another teacher during lunch. She also taught at a title 1 school, but was desperately trying to go somewhere else. I told her that there was no other type of school I would rather teach in, and her comment was "well you must be the type of person that doesn't let things get to you". To be honest, her statement angered me. But, I know that only a certain type of person continues to teach in low income schools, and that is because they love it.
I thought about that statement today as I was leaving work. I had one of those days that I just hate. I work in a transient area where only about half of my class from last year actually returned to enter second grade. Unfortunately, I am used to not seeing my former students. In my own mind, I have created a better life for them. I imagine that they have moved on to better things. That is the only way I can be...hopeful. Today is one of those days when my imaginary world took a hit of reality. I spoke with a principal of one of my former students who was desperately seeking information. The news I received from him was disheartening. My student was doing worse...much worse. I actually wrote about this student in a prior post because I was so fearful of what his future would hold.
It is times like this when that woman's statement affects me even more. My heart just crumbled at this news, as if everything that was accomplished last year was for nothing. I wish I could just take a half day and go there. Maybe seeing me as a piece of a "better" time will not make him feel so lost and alone. It also infuriates me that this child or any child has to deal with an unfair life...a deck of cards they were dealt for which they have to try and make work. He has so much potential and I can just see it all slipping away.
There have been children like him in the past, and I am sure there will be more in the future, but it does not help to ease my frustration on this kind of day.