with love and squalor

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 22 2011

My biggest gain

We have one very young 3-year-old who, for the first two weeks of school, cried all day.  And I’m not just talking about “crying,” I’m talking about hysterical WAILING to the point that everyone in the cafeteria, even other sad kids, would stare at him while he threw a tantrum every morning when his mom tried to leave.  Apparently his brother was the same way and this is characteristic of their family–severe separation anxiety.  It was so serious and painful to watch that I really wasn’t sure this child would make it through summer school.  There were even some really rough moments with him that I wished his mother would decide he was too young and pull him out of school.

Fast forward to the end of week 4 of summer school.  He’s started talking more and communicating feelings and participating in lessons.  He’s becoming more verbal and learning his classmates’ names.  He doesn’t cry anymore.

Yesterday, I asked him if he liked school.  He nodded.  Today, at breakfast, I told his mom what he had said yesterday and she told me that, this morning, HE was rushing HER out the door and kept saying that he had to get to school.

I think I finally have a concrete response to the question, “Why do you teach for America?”

One Response

  1. rivermad

    Wow. This is so moving. Says it all. Good work and keep on trucking! YOU are what it’s all about! YOU and the kids. Thanks for this.

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