Without getting into too many details, I have a student who has a truly interesting set of needs/challenges, that fall outside my normal service area (and believe me, the spectrum of kids that I serve is huge, so this is hard to do). For the majority of the first quarter, I have felt cautiously hopeful, frustrated, and sometimes impotent, because my usual bag of tricks just hasn’t been working to bring this kid around.
I have had so many doubts about whether I was the right teacher, and if we were the most appropriate placement for him. Every time that I had to call his parents, it broke my heart. Every time that he acted out, and I knew that it was because we couldn’t accurately communicate with each other, and it killed me. Every time that I contemplated giving up and changing his placement, I felt like an abject failure.
This week, after a lot of research and contemplation, I implemented yet another new plan for him, and this week…for the first time, he had a successful week. I was happy…but most importantly, so was he. Despite a truly limited ability to communicate with each other, we found a place we could both live with, and I think he felt that he had control over his environment, which he desperately needed.
After an entire week, in which no furniture was thrown and no tears shed, we were at a school assembly, and when I went to sit on the floor, he sat in my lap, and laid his head back on my shoulder, and my heart was full. When the assembly was almost over, he leaned up, and he kissed my cheek and smiled at me, and my poor heart just about exploded.
I’m so glad I didn’t give up, and he didn’t give up on me. I’m so ridiculously grateful that somehow, we managed to sneak our hands across the great divide that separated us to grab on. I am so happy that he was here to teach me and make me grow. I am so effing grateful that when the universe was dolling out callings, that this was mine.