A Chinese boy. A girl who is abused by her father. A new student whose third language is English. An athlete that just tore his ACL.
As teachers we will never know what kind of student will walk through our door. What we do know is the importance of being more than an educator in the classroom. I’m talking about relational, caring, loving, and motivating teachers. This idea is sometimes perceived as nothing more than a corny, unrealistic view of a teacher, but in reality, it is the most credible aspect of a teacher, after knowing the curriculum.
This is why I decided to write a fictional diary from the point of a 6th grade girl named Lilly. Among the pages of her diary, Lilly describes her class crush, her ‘BFF’, and her ‘silly’ dog Toby. More than that, she describes her teachers from school, her opinions of different subjects, and her life at home. The reader gets a small glimpse of the life of this 6th grade girl and discovers that among typical teenage problems (such as having a crush on a boy in class), she has more to reveal about her life than one may think.
Being abused at home by her alcoholic father and having a mother that is rarely home are just parts of Lilly’s story. The reader also discovers that Lilly is sexually harassed by her math teacher while trying to get help on her math homework after school. Subsequently, Lilly is drawn into a deep depression and has thoughts of suicide. Luckily for her, Ms. Buckly, her English teacher, is willing to step up and take action to save this young girl’s life.
Many may conclude that this is a heart-wrenching story of a young girl, but my purpose was not simply to elicit emotion. My purpose in creating this diary was to cause teachers and future educators to think seriously about the students they see everyday in their classrooms. As an educator, can you truly make a difference in the life of a student?
Let think outside of the curriculum we are taught and consider the power we have as teachers to influence, motivate, and maybe even save the life of a student. Nothing is more important!