I was a hard student to deal with. Given my history, who could blame me. It’s strange how life comes at you; it can catch you off guard sometimes and, as humans, we don’t always know how to process the pain and grief that can come along with it. I still have trouble as an adult so in my younger years, it was damn near impossible. I needed help but I didn’t know how to open up and receive it.

I was angry with the world back then. I blamed everyone for my problems and I couldn’t see or understand how I could’ve been making things worse. If it hadn’t been for Ms. Roberts, my 7th grade teacher who wouldn’t give up on me, I don’t know where I’d be. She was so patient with me and the more I tried to push her away, the more determined she was to pull me in closer.

Teaching is one of the most amazing professions. Anyone who does it for the love is A-1 in my book. It’s one of those jobs, like being a mom, that you never take a break from and you don’t hear “thank you” enough. Let me tell you, if you’re teaching for the money, you’re in the wrong profession. It’s so much bigger than a paycheck. You’re in the business of changing lives. 

I know that students can be difficult. Sometimes you can see them standing in their own way, running head first down the wrong path with blinders on. Sometimes it seems impossible to get them to hear your wisdom and it can be easy to just give up on them, but don’t get comfortable. If one way doesn’t work, try another. With so many broken homes and adults who don’t care, many of these kids just want to know that someone cares enough to keep trying.

You won’t save them all, but you will save some. And for a student who’s crying out for help and may not know it, you’re making more of a difference than you know.