Sometimes I forget just how perfect a childhood I had. Today was a day when I was flooded with those grateful memories of my wonderful, Christian parents. I'd noticed one of my most vocal students had missed the past four class periods which is unlike her. She loves Spanish; she loves me or so she tells me daily. I don't even have to say it first. She is always coming in with the daily gossip and a huge smile. Not today.
She shows up for class today only to be checked out 15 minutes into class. I said, "Ok chica. What's going on?" She said she didn't want to talk about it. I said, "Well you're going to because I need to know why you've not been in my class.". We go out in the hallway. She proceeds to tell me that her mother is being charged with 3rd degree battery and assault...for beating her. DHS has removed her from her home, and she is now living with a foster family. She missed school because of the severe bruises on her body, mainly on her back making it very uncomfortable for her to sit.
I was stunned. I didn't say anything for what seemed like an eternity. I then asked, "Do you want to be with your mother?" She quickly responded with a no. I hug her, but I can't let go. I'm crying at this point which I know teachers aren't supposed to do, but I didn't care. What was ironic about the situation was SHE was consoling ME. I want to just hold her and love her and let her know that she is so incredible and so strong to be able to tell someone.
I continue crying as she reassures me that she is ok. She will be fine. I tell her I love her like I tell all of my students. And I truly do. They are MY kids. And it just makes me so sad that one of my kids is hurting. Y'all. I don't know. I worry so much about my kiddos. Pray that she can continue to be strong and that she can stay in school. Fostering at this age can be disastrous. Pray for her foster family, and pray for her mother. Pray for me because right I'm having images of her mother getting hit by a bus. Don't worry. She doesn't die, but it's still not a good thought to have.
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