I always feel the loss.

A student I adore sent me this email today:

Hi Ms. Teachin' -

I'm going to be leaving the school to live with my dad. I know it would be better if I just waited to the end of the school year but that probably wont happen. I just wanted to thank you for all of the support you gave me, it means a lot to me. Hopefully I'll be able to see you again but if I don't, Bye.

Apparently she ditched one day last week, and her mom decided she was done; washed her hands of her daughter. Her beautiful, intelligent, hard-working, sweet, amazing daughter, who sometimes makes mistakes since she's, you know, a KID.


Although I think living with her dad will be better for her (she's a lot happier when she interacts with her dad and much more nervous around her mom), I'm so sad that it's happening so close to the end of her last year in the school. It's just one more month - I'm really hoping she'll be able to find transportation back (that's the issue apparently) for such a short time frame.

I emailed her back right away to say how much I'd miss her and how much I hope it works out....she's a fabulous, fabulous, fabulous kid who really will change the world.

This is what's hardest for me about my school, bar none - the mobility. It comes with the poverty, I get that, but it's so heartbreaking to watch kids I love leave....and it happens all the time. The Charmer. DC. BB Bob. The Eyeliner Queen. The Natural Athlete. Slick. The Goofball. Kids I adore, kids I worked so hard to reach, kids who learned and grew and changed and were the better for having been in my class (at least mostly)....and they're all gone. And I'll probably never see most of them again.

I have to believe that at least some of the changes are for the best, and that they'll be okay no matter what (and they will, they will, I know that), and that they did learn something in my class, and that they end up okay. But it's hard to watch them leave and know it might be the last time.

They're good kids. They deserve the best. They deserve to be in good situations and I hope they are, I hope they're in better situations than before, I hope they find some stability and happiness.

But I miss them.

I hope she keeps in touch.

(Image credit to Eisenheim.)


Joan said...

I have written about the very same thing on my blog. This year I have lost four kids to that mobility thing that is rampant in poverty areas. Two have come back, but I still feel the loss of the other two.

I think we can only hope we have touched them in some way. I think we hope they remember that they have someone who believed in them, still believes in them.

teachin' said...

That's exactly it, Joan. I REALLY hope they remember it. Not for me, even, but for themselves - because having someone who believes in you is so important, and they so need and deserve that.

loonyhiker said...

Great post! I thought I was the only one that seemed to feel possessive of my students. I hate when I lose one at any time of the year because I worry so much about them. Thanks for letting me know that it just isn't me.

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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