I always think about certain students and how I wish I could know where and how they are after my time with them is over. Last week, I was in an elementary school that is, for lack of a better word, “challenging.” I was in between classes when I saw a girl coming down the stairs looking very dejected. When she looked up I could see that it was a student I had had in a class in another school last spring. She was a wonderful child and my time with her was positive.
Running toward me, she looked like she saw a ghost (a good one) and just started telling me that her teacher simply told her to just “get out” with others that sat around her. She insisted that he did not even give her a chance to explain and I could tell that she was giving up and ready to cause more trouble for herself with her behavior.
This is a good kid who was put into an impossible situation with the environment she had moved into in this new school. “These kids don’t care and the teachers don’t even listen and I hate it here!” is what she was telling me in a very defeated voice. I reminded her what we learned in BABES and Life Skills, that she needed to think of what was best for her. She proceeded to repeat to me some of the tools I had taught her and remembered to ask for help on how to keep on the good track she was on. She told me she had her old teacher’s email and was going to write to her that evening.
I could see she felt so much more in control. I reminded her that she was important as she turned around and went upstairs to ask to speak to her teacher.
I love my job and it was wonderful to get the chance to see when and how it works!
To read letters from some of the children in the BABES program, click here.
Jill Tabakman, BA, CPS