Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rough Week

Usually I have cute and endearing stories about my kids but not today. 

This week I found out that one of my kids is being deported back to El Salvador.

This kid is amazing. He's always smiling, always respectful, and is the kind of kid I want as my own one day. 

His home-life situation is one of the best I've seen since I've been in DC. His mom and dad are very present in his life (always attend conferences and you can tell they help him at home) and he is very close with his two younger siblings (he's the best big brother ever). Apparently, his parents came here legally (I do believe his younger siblings were born in the states) but my student was born in El Salvador and is apparently not currently a citizen of the United States. 

A judge has decided to send him back to El Salvador. Alone. 

This kid has a great attitude about moving back there. His family was not below the poverty line in El Salvador and he'll live with his grandmother. After a year, the rest of his family will join him there. 

It really pains me to think that we live in a country that would send such a wonderful child back to El Salvador ALONE. His parents are citizens and they are lovely,  hard-working Americans. 

Since I've taken this job I've been made aware of some very bleak circumstances in which my children live in. Most of my students are below the poverty line. Only a handful have both parents present in their life. They've dealt with abuse, being homeless, and now I'm seeing them deal with immigration issues.

My kids deal with more pain and loss than I will probably ever know or experience myself, and that fact is a hard one to take. 

It's so easy to fall in love with my little 6th graders but the most difficult thing is sending them home every evening to instability. We give them a balanced breakfast and lunch, we help them read, we help them get organized, we give them a hug when they are having a bad day, we teach them math, science, etc. but when the clock reaches 4:10 and they're dismissed, our role ends and we have to just hope that our kids we be safe and warm at night.

It's been a rather rough week at school but not because of bad behavior or children doing poorly in their academics but because of a lot of disappointing things happening.

2 of my favorite students (including the one above) are moving, many of my colleagues are deciding not to return next year (one of whom is leaving in a week to live in Abu Dhabi), and my principal has decided not to return after having her baby. 
I know I'm lucky to be working in such a wonderful place, but this week has just got me down. It also hasn't helped that Mike has been in Orlando all week on business.

This weekend I'll be headed to our annual family trip to our river house to do some wildlife watching. I'm not going to bring any work and plan on spending my down time in the evenings visiting with my family and reading the Hunger Games. 

Thank goodness for Isla and her cuddles because this week has been a wee bit rough.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Why hello there, 2012!

Goodness gracious! It's 2012 and I am feeling SUPER old! It's true, turning 25 was a bit difficult for me to take at first (quarter of a century old! ah!) but I'm going to take this new year and new age and make it the best one ever.

I am, of course, making my usual extensive list of resolutions (exercise more, eat more whole grains and vegetables, save more money, meditate daily, drink more water, don't use plastic bags, etc.) but there are a couple that I think will really make my year more rewarding.

During our winter break I had a moment with my dad where he helped me to see that I need to quit worrying so much and just live in the moment. I'm going to take this year to just take it all in and to remember all of the ways I'm blessed. One of my resolutions (which I believe to be the most important) is to record more memories during 2012 and to recall every day all of the things I'm thankful for.

2011 was a wonderful year and I have so much to be thankful for:
my wonderful, happy, and healthy family (and the ability to talk and visit them regularly)
my loving and thoughtful boyfriend, Mike
the best dog EVER
a fabulous job at the greatest school with the greatest administrators and co-workers
the most adorable students in the world
a nice new apartment and life in DC

This year I plan on being more attentive to my blog. Over Christmas break I got several compliments on the few posts I've done, so I'd like to do more with it... keep posted.