I’ve been meaning to do something since school started back in. It’s funny, because the header, “That’s it, I’m writing a letter to the editor…” came to me because of an old friend from way back. Whenever there was an injustice, or even something to comment on, he always was going to “write a letter to the editor.” He never did once. At least not when I was around.
Anyways, there are so many things that we often say, or mentally decide we are going to do until life and the busy buzz of everything gets in the way and the moment passes.
Well, I was consciously worried that was going to happen yet again. So, I decided to hurry up and just do it.
I teach in an alternative program that provides a type of parent/teacher/student partnership for home educated students and families. I teach workshop lessons to a multi graded group of students a few times a week. Our program serves many different needs. Like I already mentioned, it serves as a way for home schooled students to connect with one another on a social level and enhance a variety of skills. It also serves as a safe environment for students while they are rebuilding their confidence during a difficult time or getting ready to transition back into a regular school setting. Many reasons, situations and choices bring our students to us.
Back to the story…
So, last year I had a particular student in my workshop that needed a lot of TLC before heading back to regular school – which was the aim for the next (this September) school year.
He came with very low literacy due to extreme dyslexia and lacked in many skill areas such as computers and technology. However, this student could hold a conversation and make anyone he met laugh. Artist – he was. He could create an entire story full of details and characters through his comic drawings and sketches. Musician – this grade 4 student could play the guitar with skill, which was remarkable as he had no formal training. His dad was a musician and so son picked up the skills through the environment he lived in.
Anyways, as you can see, he was easy to get along with and because of our special setting with low numbers and lots of support we were able to do much DI for this student and help boost his self confidence and certain necessary skills to hopefully help him for the following year.
At the end of last year his stress and anxiety started to pick up for upcoming change and he was not really ready, but it had to be done.
I made a decision (which I worried I wasn’t going to follow through on) to go and visit this student in his new school once it began.
September came, school was busy with intake meetings, paperwork, phone calls, emails, calendar setups, ugh, you know. September nearly went.
In the back of my mind was this little guitar player.
I had received some phone calls full of great of great concerns and worry about how to deal with this student. Apparently he was becoming a behavioral issue in class as he wouldn’t ‘do’ his work. Of course, he couldn’t just ‘do’ work. Anyways, we know how that works too.
So, after the phone calls I booked an afternoon that I was going in to his new school.
And I did it!!
I visited my funny, guitar playing, artistic, goofy haired, ex-student. He didn’t know I was coming which made it that much more – awesome!
I called first to make sure he was present, got my visitor’s pass, directions to his class, and headed in slowly. The teacher and I exchanged nods as I searched the room for his face. Nowhere. I double checked again and turned around slowly. He had been out of the class. He came in and didn’t even notice me or anyone. By now I had a grin on as I observed him – now a bit taller sportin’ a new hair-doo -as he sauntered over to his desk with his head down. The teacher said his name to let him know of his visitor.
Well, he looked up, made eye contact and I quickly pulled out a warm, “Hello ____man! How’s it goin?” He beemed! He replied with his huge contagious smile, “Hey Mrs. P.”
We went for a little walk around the school and caught up. He told me he finally got a new(ish) electric guitar that he’d been promised to be given forever. He filled me in that his favourite (well only class he liked) was drama and he was doing, well, ok in his new school.
As we walked and eventually made it back to his class, I asked if I could come for a visit again sometime. He said of course. I said I’d call first so he could bring in his guitar and maybe even get to show it off in class (like he used to always get to do). He loved the idea.
And… well… I know I will do it. I know I will go visit him again… because I know he needed that more than I thought he did and so did I.
I don't go alone, my soul and my shadow come with me
Juanjo Aza – Photoblog to Buy Print – Copyright