Some words of inspiration from our founder –
This was a week when I thanked my lucky stars that I am able to teach the kids that I do. This was a week when I knew, for certain, that everything I did made a difference in my students lives. Everything.
But I want to talk to you about a student that I have mentioned before, Sage. Her story is one of sadness, heartbreak, & depression. Her story is way too similar to so many children that I teach. But, last year, she was making a tremendous amount of progress.
And then the summer came.
And then her boyfriend broke up with her…
And then the walls came crashing down all around her, and she was swallowed up by her demons, her fears, and her unending insecurity.
And then she came to school.
She walked into my class the first day of school this year, and my heart sank. She was probably thirty pounds lighter, although the sadness that she carried around made her heavy in spirit. And this girl’s got so much life. Sparkle. Charm. Potential…
…i could go on.
This week, October 1st, I couldn’t hold my concerns in anymore, and my assistant and I & sat her down.
“You’re not in trouble,” I said.
“You seem mad,” she said.
I told her, “I’m not mad, I’m concerned.”
She looked at me, “Why?”
Because you’re falling apart, and I can see it. I can see you wanting to use drugs again. I can see you wanting to just crawl under the covers and never come out. I can see you fading, and it’s making me sad. And I want you to know that I know you’ve been dealt a shitty hand when it comes to the adults in your life. I know that there haven’t been enough people there for you. I know there has never been anyone there for you. But, here, at school, we’re here. Here, at school, I want you to take the shoulder to cry on when it’s offered, and I want you to grasp the hand that is extended.”
She started to cry. She said that she didn’t know what do anymore. That she was just too sad, and that she just didn’t care. She didnt’ even know how to start feeling happy again. And then she looked at us for guidance…
and I said, “Well, let’s start with getting out of bed, and getting dressed. Maybe a pair of jeans would make you feel better. Maybe add some color into that wardrobe. A little mascara never killed anyone. Baby steps, Sage, baby steps.”
(Up until this point, she had been wearing pajamas to school. Slippers too.)
And with the wide-eyed innocence that she lost all too soon, she turns to me and says, “Who do I have to look pretty for anymore? He doesn’t love me.”
GAH. My heart started breaking.
“Sage, you look pretty for YOU. You start to LOVE YOU again. Of all the things I’ll ever teach you, please remember THAT.”
Fast forward to the next day –
She came into school, in jeans. Her shirt matched her boots, and it was blatantly obvious that she had brushed her hair.
And she stood, looking at me, waiting for my reaction.
“I’m proud of you, Sage.”
And she smiled from ear to ear.
Note – Image can be found on Penny’s Place.