Tuesday, March 24, 2015
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.
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 the conversation.
I see him again.
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.