Today I wore a dress to school. I was a little cold during my commute, but I didn’t think much of it as the day went on.
Then I had a student in horror, but in a grandmotherly way, say “Ms. Shanna WHAT are you wearing?! It is too cold for that. Aren’t you cold?! You are going to get sick. Shame on you.”
I immediately made the connection for her that I don’t have to wait for the bus or walk, so I really am ok and will not freeze to death. Her concern and care for me struck me in a different way than it usually does. Usually when the students ‘take care’ of me (by getting the door for me, helping me out around the classroom, grabbing me a spoon at breakfast), I thank them and move on. This time, however, it hit me: I need them just as much, or more, as they need me. It’s not in a basic way—I don’t need them for my physical survival, but for my emotional survival. They’re the reason I worked for almost twelve hours yesterday. I’m writing a unit about constitutional rights, particularly when being involved with the police (which happens all the time for my kids, unfortunately). I’ll talk about the unit in detail in a following post, but most importantly, I couldn’t freakin’ wait to teach them today. Three kids got pulled from my class for a bell for something, and I was bummed because I knew we were going to have some good discussions.
They need me, but I need them way more. They are entertaining, hilarious, and beautifully resilient.
It’s what keeps me going, even in the brutal February cold.