Today a friend of mine posted something on Facebook where she expressed her anger about things people were saying about her son. Her son is a bit of a miracle child. He had a stroke when he was an infant and has a few other medical issues as well, including hearing loss. People at school, you know "the cool kids" have been following him around calling him deaf and dumb and telling him that nobody likes him. I could feel her heartbreak for her son as I read her post, which basically begged people to raise their children to be decent human beings. I have felt the same pain for my son who is often made fun of for being "weird" or not accepted because he gets along with all types of kids.
Ha. I have a huge interruption to this post. As I was sitting and thinking of other examples of things that I have seen/heard this week, I received an e-mail.
Some of my penpals know that I have something pretty big tomorrow that I am pretty anxious about. People who know me well also know that I really care about many of the kids I work with. There are 3 kids that "graduated" from my middle school last year that I was especially close to. They have looked up to me as sort of a mentor for 4 years and now that they're out of the school we have been keeping in touch. Well, one of the families knows what's going on. I got an e-mail from one of "the 3" that said "Not to be creepy or anything, but look on your front porch."
I walked out on my porch to find this:
It's mac and cheese with broccoli and chicken, chocolate chip cookies, a bouquet and a painting. On the back of the painting is a super sweet note from the 2 girls from last year and one of their little brothers.
They knew my address since I wrote my return address on a graduation card last year. The family who delivered this lives 30 minutes away.They are, obviously, just great people. I would've not expected something like this and I'm very touched by their kindness. (These 3 students also had flowers delivered to the school last year on my birthday. My birthday is this Friday.)
I read an article yesterday about teaching and about how student trauma also affects their teachers, how being emotionally invested in your students can take a huge toll on you. The author stated "I was blindsided by the emotional aspect of teaching—I didn’t know how to handle it. I was hurt by my students’ pain, and it was hard for me to leave that behind when I went home." This is me. All the time. I rejoice with the victories and successes of my students, but I also mourn with them if they lose family members or experience things like the boy in my first paragraph today has. However, there is something really raw and honest about living life with people you care about. When you genuinely are invested in the lives of other people it can also be deeply rewarding. Being with people when things are going well can be pretty easy. When life is hard, you realize the things in life that really count. 💖