The Gratitude Gospel: Day 2
“You saved me from the streets.”
It’s not something I like to discuss – the horrible things my students have encountered in their lives. But my teaching always seems to bring it out.
Drive-bys. Drug rings. Gut-wrenching poverty.
If college is designed to prepare young people for the real world, I think it falls short in doing so for inner-city youth. It takes several class periods before they even feel comfortable removing their backpacks, if it happens at all.
But I did my homework in graduate school, namely exploring what strategies to avoid. As it turns out, you just need to love these unique students the way they are used to being loved. It’s how they let you in.
Sometimes this means accepting loud outbursts.
Sometimes this means discussing heavy emotional baggage.
Sometimes this means helping your students get out of trouble.
Such was the case in recent weeks. There’s always something a little unsettling about writing a formal letter on a student’s behalf. After all, what if you’re wrong?
But teaching is a career of risks, and this young person was worth the fight. I poured my heart – only partially bleeding – into approximately 300 words.
Would they be enough? I’ll admit, I didn’t sleep well that week.
Yesterday, I received words of hope from my former student: a second chance had been extended.
Someone wise once said:
Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.
But I would add, “And be patient for the miracle.”
It always finds a way.
What miracle are you thankful for today?