Today was the last day of school.
I will not miss Ms. Manic Depressive
I will not miss Dr. Psycho.
I will not miss mindless paperwork.
I will not miss waking up at 6am and coming home at 10pm.
I will miss my children.
GOD I am going to miss those kids.
Today when they sat on the floor awaiting their dismissal procedure a huge gulp dropped from my heart to my stomach. I remember hugging Shayla and listened when she didn’t understand why her mom drank so much and lay in bed all day. Or when after I lectured them on HOW IMPORTANT it was not to hit each other, Laura raised her hand and asked if husbands can hit wives. Gosh, my kids have been through so much. Or even more insightful was Sheldon who asked “If violence is not the way to solve a problem like you said, why are we doing a war in Iraq” (A second GRADER!) What do I respond with? “He didn’t have me as his teacher to explain violence is not the answer”… Sheldon smiled, but ofcourse!
Forget giving the children active parents who will make sure the kid does his homework, of have consequences if he misbehaved, if these kids could just get equality in the public school system. WHAT I WOULD GIVE. And if you think that this is is just myth, that the rich schools get more funding and are catered to help the rich get richer, the mediocre stay so, and the poor to stay poor then read “Savage Inequalities” by John Kozol, and open your mind to the truth that is that children who need the most get the least from the public school system.
I remember Dr. Diane Silva,the University of Florida’s supervising teacher for my internship asked us all at the end of of our assignments “Please at least give two years to an inner city school, they need highly educated teachers”. How grateful am I that I did this. I can’t imagine that I gave them more because they gave me so much. They have taught me about courage, about bravery, about being thankful and about passion.
I pray that the world always looks colorful to them, that they rise above their circumstances, go to college and become the doctors, judges, and lawyers, and artists that they excitedly drew pictures about during the school year.
I just hate this though. That I just have to leave them and say goodbye after a year of such intense conversations and lessons on so much more than the explicit curriculum. Perhaps they are doves you release and pray they find a happy place to land.