David is 15. He has a girlfriend. He has a baby. And… he has a sentence in the juvenile detention center.
Recently, on one of our visits to the center, we were talking about disappointments in our lives. The exercise was a chance to name all the things that we could blame our current situation on. In the process we had hoped all would discover that although some things are out of our control, we are the authors of our lives.
But, I do have to admit, what David said struck a nerve with me. He said when I
was in fifth grade, I didn’t understand math and no one noticed that I was struggling. He then went on to say, “I wonder what my life would be like if someone would have cared.” Being a former fifth grade teacher, this stuck with me for several days later. Had I “failed” someone by not recognizing what they needed in my classroom? Had I neglected to take the time with the student who behavior wise was always a pain in my class? Are there kids sitting in classrooms right now that think they are dumb?
Yes to all three!
I believe every kid comes to school with the hopes of succeeding. If we don’t find what that one thing is for each of the students in our class, we could run the risk of a whole lot more being in David’s shoes.
Let’s all vow today to find one of these kids and help them out. You will notice them fairly quickly. They are the ones considered behavior problems because they are
screaming for someone to notice them. They will resist and act like they don’t need you. But, hang on tight, cause deep down they really want you to care. They just don’t often know what that should look like.