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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SLICE #22

So tonight I'm thinking about the kids that are easily overlooked.
Take E, for example.
An eighth grader
One of the shortest kids in the class for a long time.
In the last year he has shot up
Now he's average or maybe even a little above
his weight hasn't caught up with his height yet
and I wonder how his mom ever finds jeans that fit
that long skinny body
Not one of the top students in his class
but definitely a kid who shows up every single day.
A kid who works hard in class
and does his homework.
A kid who you can always count on.

I make a point to talk with kids like E.
Try to connect with them.
Try to let them know
I see them.

Yesterday I saw E in the cafeteria.
And realized it had been a few days
since we had touched base.
I said hello.
Asked him where he was going to high school.
(My district has a choice policy
and our eighth graders head off
to any number of places).
"I don't know,"  he says.
"No one has sent me a letter yet."
I am surprised.
This is a good kid.
Solid academics.
Absolutely clean behavior record.
"It will come soon," I assure him.
But I wonder how he feels at lunch
when his best buddies all discuss
their high school admittance letters
and he has nothing
to contribute
to the conversation.

This morning
I see him again.
"Any word?"
He shakes his head no and
I tell him I will talk to our high school selection person.
And see if she has heard anything.
I see her a few minutes later
on my way out to recess duty.
She tells me she is sure
he has been accepted
at his first choice.
She will check after lunch.

E makes a point of finding me on the playground
probably twenty minutes since I have last seen him.
"Did you see her?" he asks
and I know how this issue
is eating at his heart.
I tell him that I will check again
after lunch. Which I do.
I think the counselor is getting tired of me
but she consults her list
and there he is listed
on the school that is his first choice.
I ask if I can bring him to talk to her.
She looks at me a little strangely.
"I was going to go up there in a little bit."

"I'll bring him to you. Save you a trip."
I hurry up the stairs. Locate him in science class.
Tell him the counselor wants to talk to him.
He looks nervous and I assure him that it is good news.
We make our way back down to the office
and the counselor shows E
his name on the list.
His smile could light the whole school.
A really good kid
who will be going to his first choice high school
with his two best friends.

I see you, E, I see you.


12 comments:

Kyle said...

Years ago I had a principal that ended the year with teachers standing for the kids that are over looked. I stood for E. I think of that activity often. The world needs more people like you to stand for all the A to Z's that others overlook.

Leah O'Donnell said...

I love everything about this post. Thank you for being such a fantastic and caring teacher.

Chiara said...

Thank you for on behalf of all the Es! We often do overlook the impact a tiny action can have on others. You pushed and you were rewarded with a beautiful smile"

Michelle said...

E. knows you see him. What an awesome story! Love that you are showing the E's of your world that #YouMatter! We've talked a lot at my school about being champions for students. Way to be E's champion!

Samantha said...

I absolutely love this. I love the format. I love emotion behind it. I love that you advocated for this kid. This is what teaching is about...not just the academics, not just the behavior, but being in their corner. That is what they will remember.

Ramona said...

So glad E. (and so many lucky others) have people like you watching out for them. Bless you for the extra effort in his behalf.

Mary Lee said...

You are a saint.

I learn from you how to be a better teacher/person.

LInda Baie said...

Pushing for the kids! That's what I always hear you doing, Carol. How wonderful that you do this. I know that not everyone does it. I imagine there are so many kids at your school that count on you! Love the good news, too, for E!

elsie said...

Such small effort it takes to make a difference in so many lives. You are one special person in the lives of so many. I hope many watch and emulate your actions.

Tabatha said...

Sounds like you are feeling better! So glad. And so glad E got into his first choice school!

Stacey Shubitz said...

I have a huge lump in my throat, Carol. This is beautiful. We all need people like you in our lives since you truly SEE people. I'm so glad he got good news today. Yea!

Alexander Lantis said...

This made my heart smile! I'm glad you took some extra time and effort to make his day. We need more people like you!