I remember when I was student teaching, I was reading journals during my planning and I cried. I think that is when it first hit me that not everyone lived in the same, safe little bubble I did. Some of the kids in my class that year lived a rough life. One that I was never accustomed to. One that I never thought about existing in my little town of Glasgow. And it broke my heart.
I later went on to teach at two different high schools over the next 4 years. This was a whole new arena for me. The kids didn't care if they passed or failed. Some didn't even care about graduating; they were there because they had to be. I had a senior that couldn't read. At all. I had kids that were having to bounce around their friends' homes because they didn't have one. I had multiple girls get pregnant that year. Some with kids already. Again, this was outside of Melanie's little world, and I didn't understand. College didn't prepare me for this.
One of my students didn't come back one Monday after the weekend. He had killed his father. Another girl was driving and had an accident that killed a student. Another student was killed because he was driving drunk and wrecked his vehicle. Another student overdosed in his truck. Sometimes I look at local jail website and see former students who have multiple arrest records. So many I see on facebook have randomly gotten pregnant and have children, and I pray that they have changed since I had them because I worry about the baby that they are bringing into this world.
Last night, a former student at a school I taught was arrested for murder. He robbed a pizza place and then shot an employee who later died. I know this kid had a rough childhood, bouncing around from place to place. And now, he is in jail on murder charges. I read this, my heart broke, and I cried. I cried off and on all night, because so many kids that not only I've had in my short time teaching, but everywhere struggle every single day. They don't have safe homes. They don't have role models that teach them right and wrong. They have and will struggle. They don't have a chance at the "easy" life I've had. And it breaks my heart.
I don't know what I can do to help. The only thing I know I can do is pray for God to be with them and guide them.