Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Broken Nails and broken hearts

I am very vain. I like having shiny hair. I like being a petite stature. I loved my perfectly manicured nails. No polish on these babies, the natural rosie nail beds and white tips did not need to hide behind bright reds varnishes.

I loved my nails. But today, I broke two nails. Broke Two. Normal wear and tear of the teaching day? Not for me. Heavy labor? Only typing and some dictionary browsing. Classroom catastrophe? Not in the classroom - intern has commandeered the teaching.

No, the only cause of this disaster effect is emotional. One of my favorite students is leaving. He is smart, and funny, and caring, and creative. But he is also slow in transitions, still developing his fine motor skills, often 2 steps behind during the lesson, and defiant to strangers. Will his new teacher see beyond is round about monologues? Will the new teacher know that through his garbled speech he is making a connection between Native Americans and steps in multiplication? That he only needs gentle reminders about eye contact and off task behavior? That he needs a couple of weeks, not a couple of days, to fully understand a new routine?

Will the new teacher write off his glimmers of insight as anomalies inside this often off task student? I wish I had faith enough in education to say yes, the new teacher will see and foster his potential. That no matter what the school, no matter what the county, that any educator will see this whole child, creating an empowering environment for this child that supports the weaknesses and encourages the strengths.

But I don't have this faith. I am suspicious of the county he will be moving to. I do not know his new school. I do not know if he will be lost in a broken system, where he will be defined by his weaknesses rather then his strengths.

And I am powerless; and my nails are showing the result.


Jenny said...

I can say nothing to make this better. I, like you, hate it when these students move on. And, like you, I'm always skeptical of the quality of education, care, and support they will receive. Are we that egotistical or is that just a sign of our love for the students?

organized chaos said...

I have such a text-to-self connection with this one! Those are the kiddos you want to go with on their first day at their new school to be their cheerleader just so their new teacher doesn't miss any of their fabulous qualities!!