So, this post was a blog post meant for just a couple of dear friends today, an email thanking them for what they do and then I realized how many teachers I know and love that need to know how important what they do is.
I am working at the California Hispanic Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse right now, serving their youth with mental health and group counseling (it sounds way more hard core than it is). This is a great gig and I am learning A LOT, but I wanted to just share with y’all how thankful I am for the experiences I had at YES and how important what you(all you teachers out there) are all doing daily is.
I just finished my morning group which is a group of 7 kids, ages 13-17, who are court ordered to come to this facility. They have all be charged to be here based on drug use, gang violence or one of my favorites, truancy.
Today we talked about the importance of education in groups and how drug/alcohol abuse can affect their ability to learn. Every single kid was very genuine in saying that Not ONE person believed in them at school. I asked them write me statements about their drug use while at school and the majority of my 12th graders couldn’t even spell simple words like, school or paper.
One of my kids shared with me his transcript and there were missing credits throughout his 4 years that he has never regained and is now trying to do so by sitting in the cafeteria after school quietly-great learning strategy right!?
He is smart, but Not ONE person has ever told him that. When I told him that I didn’t have to sit in a classroom with him to know that he was smart, he told me he didn’t think so, and when he didn’t understand in class he was too embarrased/”hard” to ask for help and his teachers didn’t care anyway because they were too busy babysitting the other kids.
Anyway, YOU MATTER teachers.
You have created an environment in which NOT ONE of the youth you are in contact with can say any of those things about their teachers or someone’s care for their education. Believe in the “bad kids” and the power of the bright spots!
All of y’all, even at the end of october :), are caring for those kids and their futures daily and that alone has changed them.
Basically, I miss being surrounded by people who truly care and are making a difference. Teaching is the most challenging job you will ever love and miss once it’s gone. Keep your heads up, the break is almost here and you are changing lives daily!!