My [redacted] Journey

A teacher's search for inner peace.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say

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May 15, 2015

Dear Readers,

I had nothing nice to write these past five months, so I kept it to myself.  The world has enough unkind words karmically seeking counterparts.  I wanted to balance the not nice words with some nice.  And this post is filled with enough nice words to fill an entire classroom of 7th grade students. 

My first, full year teaching 7th grade language arts is drawing to a close and I want to acknowledge one of my classes.  I have to admit that I have spent the better part of the school year complaining to my sister about this student or that student.  I thought it might be refreshing if she, and you, dear Readers, were to hear about the good students, not just the bad and the…well, you know the rest.  

I credit my last period class for creating such a good vibe prior to my life changing accident last year, that I wanted to, no, I had to come back to teach.  Believe me, I was periously close to never teaching again.  However, my last hour class was the perfect storm.  These are the students who reminded me why I teach.  

I would like to introduce you to Az (sorry Az, didn’t feel comfortable using your real name)    This young man has got the world by the tail and he is going places.  He is a leader among his peers and I am honored to have been his teacher.

Next is his sometime sidekick, Cj.  You will find Cj among the ballers.  He is smart and athletic and one of the most dedicated I’ve seen come through here.

My trusty first assistant Mg is as adorable as the day is long.  She is a hella good creative writer and I look for her to publish some of her fiction in the future.  

Mg’s first assistant is Bi.  Well, not really an assistant, but they are thick as thieves.  Bi is almost as smart as she thinks she is (jk, Bi, you know I love you).  I admire Bi’s willingness to ask questions, even though her peers may poke fun at her.  She is the one I pick to most likely go to a top university.

Jr was my second semester assistant.  I wasn’t sure if his, um,bathroom habit was for real, or just a ploy to get out of my class.  Maybe I made him nervous.  Nevertheless, he holds a very special place in my heart because he was never embarrassed to ask me to sit with him at lunch.  Kv was also at that same lunch table.  Although, Kv didn’t spend as much time at our (listen to me, “our”) lunch table as he should have.  Let’s just say that detention sometimes includes lunch.

Now for my silent but deadly crew: Ax, Le, Mo, and Yz.  “Still waters run deep,” comes to mind when I think of these four students.  Ax is one of the bitchingest (is that a word?) artists I have seen at such a young age.  Too bad I never warranted a drawing (LoL).  Ax draws because he has to draw.  For him, drawing is life.  He is art.  Le is too sweet for his own good at times.  I fear that someday, somewhere, some you-know-what will break his heart and I will have to go find her.  Seriously though, Le has a heart as big as anyone I know.  

Mo. is my kindred spirit.  He is like me, an outsider, not wanting to go in, but not wanting to stay on the fringe.  I pray that he finds the peace he is seeking.  Hell, I pray I find the peace I am seeking.

Yz could stand to have a bit more confidence.  She is smarter than she gives herself credit for.  The same is true for Gi.  These two young ladies are just the two to lead the next generation of strong, smart, beautiful Latina women.

Now we come to one of the beauties: Jo.  Jo too often sells herself short (no pun intended).  Yes, she is short, but, she doesn’t see the beauty that I see.  The quality that Jo has that I most admire is her loyalty.  I would love to have such a friend.

Ar is one of the cutest, most energetic young ladies in the school.  She is a lady with a bit of a rebellious streak.  She hardly lets it slip, but it gives her an edge.  I would love to see her roller-skate!

Tl warms my heart because he will always be a kid inside.  On his birthday, he came to class wearing an Olaf backpack!  For a 7th grade student to walk into class with this backpack was, to me, the sweetest thing I could have seen.  I hope he always keeps his little boy outlook on life.  

Of all these students, I admire Er the most.  I can never understand nor imagine speaking two languages.  Er can.  In fact, Er can speak, read and write in English better than most native English speakers.  He may be quiet, but I predict that he will make a great big roar when he is released into the real world.

De is one of the quirkiest white-boys ever.  However, as he tells me, “But, I’m black on the inside!”  Great kid with a great smile.  I owe you a book, De; I hope you are around next year to receive it.

Finally, I will never forget Eb, Je, and Mg.  These three, assistant Mg, beautiful Eb, and funny Je are the epitome of why I came back to teach after my accident.  The day of my accident, these three were the perfect trio with the perfectly executed lesson.  Theirs were the three faces that went before my eyes shortly before I wound my way up the mountain stretch on my way to, well, you know.  Knowing there are students out there like these three made my coming back to teach worthwhile.  Three seemingly different students, from three different backgrounds, with different friends and interests came together that afternoon and opened themselves up to learning.

These are the reasons I teach, dear Readers; these are the reasons I teach.  Peace, ~v.


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