Today was the end of one of my big journeys. It was the last day of my student teaching. I will still observe for two more days, next Monday and Tuesday, but it really feels like being done. I have been reflecting today on some of the things I have experienced and wanted to write them down.
I felt like crying a few times today for reasons I didn't anticipate. I assumed I would feel sad because the students I have taught have been so fun to be around. The AF area is phenomenal, hence why we just bought a house there. Oh yeah, maybe I should post about that? The reasons that I started tearing up on my last day, however, was for the students I feel need me. I know that is a huge false statement. None of those students really need me, and they probably don't even like my class.
D for example has been someone I have tried to reach from day one. He came in, sat in the back, and talked to no one. He made a few disturbing comments that made me feel that he was reaching out for help. I could have done more, but I did try to reach him each day. Sometimes he completely surprised me. One day he came in with nearly 15 missing assignments and excitedly turned them in, after I had given him a folder with all of the assignments he was missing. I just feel like he needs someone to be his advocate. Today he volunteered to read, which he never does! He struggled with nearly every word, but it meant a lot to me that he tried.
I worry that some of my students have terrible home lives. I want to be someone that stands up for them and helps them feel important. I hear them tell small parts of their lives, such as an alcoholic mother who gets violent when she drinks so they hide her Vodca, and I crumble inside. Who is on their side? Who is going to help them grow and develop the traits of a successful person? I want to be a mother to each of them, but I am not. I am only their teacher, who is leaving next week.
Maybe I failed at helping these students. Maybe I helped them understand how they can take control of their health. The few thank you cards I have gotten help me to focus on the positives.