I just renewed my domain name, so I feel it’s only right to update this thing, as I haven’t it quite some time.
So where was I?
I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo. I admit defeat. I was revising another MS at the same time, so it was hard to balance the two. But it’s okay. There’s always more time to write, right?
Speaking of writing, one of my old students (I taught high school for a year when I was 22/23. Yes, I was a baby.) emailed me out of the blue the other day, to say he finished a script and would love my opinion. I haven’t spoken to him in years, and he thought of me. And that made me feel absolutely amazing.
Truth was, I didn’t like teaching. I hated disciplining students. I hated caring so much that when one of my 130+ kids let me down, I felt broken. I hated giving up. But, ultimately, I knew the career wasn’t for me. But still-I think of the 10 or so kids who really made a difference to me. The ones who have since friended me on Facebook. The ones that email me out of the blue for my opinion. I can’t believe they still think of me (the way, as it happens, I still think of one of my high school teachers. In fact, she and her husband came to my wedding.)
One day there was a fight in my classroom. Two kids – the loner who wore dark and liked sci-fi and the jock who had girlfriends and pride – got into a fight. The loner just broke and started pushing. The jock didn’t fight back initially – I remember the surprise on his face – but eventually there was self-defence. And I remember thinking three things –
2. Oh crap.
3. I need to protect my kids.
I know somewhere in that moment I thought to call the front office. I know eventually I moved from behind my desk. But I remember thinking that I didn’t want this to escalate. That I wanted my kids to be okay.
In the midst, two boys grabbed the fighters and held them back. And in the process, one yelled. “Ms. G, stay there.”
In this moment of panic, he thought the same thing I did, only about me.
The kids calmed down and everyone was fine. There was detention and suspension and all of that, and I’d like to say the fighters became friends in the end, but that’s not realistic. They avoided each other, but they didn’t have problems again. The class was quiet and I talked to them each individually because I didn’t want either to be upset or, for the former, alone.
My kids made me proud that day. There’s so much negative talk about teens and their behaviors, but in an unexpected moment, the two who broke up the fight, thinking not of themselves but of the other students-of me- were heroes in their own way. And I still think of that, now and then, when I hear about fight at school, or worse.
And I don’t know where many of them are nowadays, or how they’re doing, but I hope they’re doing well. I really do.