“Ms. Daughter, we’ve been going through a really rough divorce….third house this month…five kids…but he loves you…”
“Ms. Daughter, he’s always been a really shy, sensitive kid. Then all of the pipes in our house broke, and he had to move and has had to move away from all his friends…but he has really taken to you… and I am hoping not to have to move schools…”
“She knows she shouldn’t hit and kick….very violent home…cousins in anger management…dad in and out of work…. but she just loves you…..”
“She just loves you….”
“He just loves you….”
These are my “problem kids.” It is only when I hear their stories that I begin to understand. The bad kids are never really bad. It makes me want to smile more…but not because I’m happy. Because I want to make my class a safer place.
I feel so lazy. I should be doing more. I watched part of an Orson Welles movie. I forgot to run off their math homework. Have I covered the punctuation enough? Have I graded enough? Have I given enough?
Oh God. If they fail at life because of something I did or didn’t do…..
The bad kids are never bad…
But- if they talk to their neighbor again…I’m pulling a card.
You know…it is absolutely unnerving how much faith the hope and trust those parents have in me. I get off the phone and want to cry…and then never have a social life again and spend every waking hour focused on their children. I’m 22. I want to ask them what THEY were doing at 22.