Too Many Slipping Through the Cracks…Can We Save These Young Males?
Today has been a super tough day. I was using the mobile computers in the classroom and we were waiting for everyone to get logged into the site and one student had a music video on. It turned out to be a former student rapping and I told him I knew him. The student let me know that he was just arrested. I went online to Google it and sure enough he is up on almost 10 major charges and is now 18 years old so his name was published. My heart felt like it stopped and just an overwhelming feeling of why him? What he did wasn’t right, but I feel behind all that he is a good kid. We can’t choose the cards we are dealt when we are born and I can’t imagine how I would turn out to be dealt his hand. I taught him in 3 classes and to see him progress with school, smile and just be a regular teen was amazing. This is why I love inner city schools. I see him in the music video angry, violent and letting everyone know he isn’t afraid to shoot anyone. I just wish I could have done more when I taught him, engaged him more, helped him get a job so he didn’t have to hustle.
Realistically I know I have helped so many students and I can’t take the blame onto myself. Last month seeing another student on the news losing his brother, having another stabbed just over a year ago in the school and then recently another one stabbed. These are KIDS who have been forced to grow up too quickly, learn hard lessons from the street and in many cases pushed out of success. I am thankful for caring teachers, community organizations like boys and girls club and pathways that pour endless time and emotion into helping these boys. We need places for them to be safe, learn skills, get them jobs, speak with caring adults/mentors and don’t give up on them!
The person I remember you to be and have seen you prove that you are is enough to convince me that you have done the absolute best you can for every student you have had and currently do have. It is really important to know and believe in each individual in the classroom and I certainly hope that every teacher is like you and has the same passion for seeing their students on the right path.
I am a firm believer in the notion of each person creating their destiny. Perhaps educating and reiterating to young people where we can that no matter what life situation they were born in to, their destiny is their own to create. Education is important, friends we keep are important and having passions for things that are healthy for our mind, body and spirit will work together to see us all on the right path.
The notion of keeping them all safe from harm and believing in each one is paramount to the beginning of success. The hardest work has to come from the individual though. So keep believing in them, keep advocating for them and keep them engaged in life.
You have the passion. Keep at it. Try not to lose heart. You are doing your part in an issue that is unbelievably depressing. Focus on the successes and pray for all of them.
Thanks Naomi!!! you made my night!