We had to expel a student today. A couple of weeks ago another student was expelled. A third student is on the cusp of being expelled. It is so tough when you work so hard to help them to watch them walk out the classroom door for the last time. You know there is more going on in their lives than what you see–things at home, on the street, with their relationships. You want to help but there is nothing you can do it seems.
Do they know?
Do they know when they walk out that door
there is a part of me that feels totally crushed?
Do they know that when I get home
I shed tears for them because I hurt for them?
Do they know that when they give up
it feels like I have failed them?
Do they know that every night
I pray for them even when they are gone?
Do they know that if I could
I would do everything in my power to keep them in my class?
Do they know that in my heart
they are my family–my children that I care deeply for?
Do they know?
I was warned when I started this job that if I cared too much–if I cared more than the students did–I would burn out fast. Maybe that is true, but how do I go about not caring? This isn’t just a job–it is impacting the lives of these young people. If I, and the Escape staff/board, don’t care, do they have someone in their lives who does care? Or will they go through life feeling like they aren’t worth caring about? I cannot turn my emotions off or simply decide not to care for my students. Yes, it is exhausting, frustrating, and painful. But I know I have made a difference to the last two who were expelled. They just had too much going on outside of school to deal with and so they bent under the weight of the burden of their lives. But we at Escape have shown them Christ and His love. We have told these young people that He is THE Way, THE truth and THE life and that He will be there for them if they accept Him as their Lord and Savior. The seed is planted, it has been cultivated. I believe that many of them, in God’s time, will produce a faith that will astound us. Not because of what I did, but in spite of my failures while working with them because God can make all things beautiful in His time.