Yesterday was our last day of school. It's always bitter sweet, saying goodbye to teachers, friends, and students. As a teacher I've realized that saying goodbye isn't my favorite. I hate it! You fall in love with your students as if they were your own. Of course there are some that, forgive me for saying, you're happy to see go. But there's always at least one that holds your heart in the palm of their hands. For me that student was, I'll call him Will.
My first encounter with Will wasn't a good one. He was angry and didn't want to follow the rules of the classroom. He was running around and around when he was suppose to be sitting at the carpet with the rest of the class. I told him he needed to sit down and follow the rules or he would have to go home. Well, his behavior only got worse, he was yelling and screaming. It ended up that we had to call his family to come and get him due to the major distraction and amount of class time he was taking away from the other students.
When he found out he was going home he freaked out! He threw a chair at me, pushed over a desk and he attempted to pick up and throw the play kitchen at me as well. He screamed that he hated me and my family too! My opinion at the time was that he shouldn't be in our class at all. He was a danger to the other students, himself, and the teachers as well.
I found out that little Will has had very rough, rough life. His first few years of life were lived with his mother, addicted to meth. His sister (who is now a mere 7 years old) took care of them for three years of their lives, literally. Needless to say they've been taken from their mother and placed with family.
I quickly realized that this little, sweet boy needed to be given love more than anything else, and I've come to love him very, very much. He recently told me that he cries for me when he's at home. I asked what he meant, he said he wishes he could be with me when he's home and so he cries for me. I came very close to a break down right then and there.
But instead, the breakdown happened yesterday, our last day of school. I was dreading it immensely. I tell many of my students that I love them (and I do!), including little Will. However, unlike most students, Will has never said he loves me back. Yesterday was the first time Will returned the gesture. It was time for him to go home, for the last time, and he ran up to me, wrapped his arms around me tightly, and said I love you and I'm going to miss you! I held him for as long as I could
I love you too my sweet boy, more than you know! I felt helpless, I had done all I could do, said all I could say, that was that, the day was done, finished. How does a person walk away after that. Empty handed. I'm crying even now, just writing this. My prayer is for the Lord to surround him with a hedge of protection, and help him to grow to be an incredible man of God. I also pray that the Lord would help that sweet boys path to cross mine again someday. In Jesus' name...