And then I saw the news while I was getting ready for work this morning:
Wait. That's my school. MY school.
If you live in Chicago, you're used to hearing about problems on the South Side of the city. Guns. Gangs. Drive-bys. Innocent children killed. Sadly, one can become numb to it all. Largely because for most of us, it seems a world away. And then one day it comes home.
Turns out this was a student I'd taught last Fall. I knew him. For 10 weeks I taught him about photography. And all I can hope is that for the time he was in my class, he felt safe. Happy. Cared for.
So I went to my new class today. Still excited and more purposeful than ever. Today was an affirmation of why I choose to teach for Citizen Schools. These students are at risk. Their environment is tentative on many levels. They don't have the luxuries of academic opportunities like I had. But maybe I can spend an afternoon a week with them for 10 weeks and show them something different. A different way of looking at the world. A world that is beautiful. A world I want them to live in for a very long time.
|One of my new students taking pictures with his tablet today.|