Updated: Dec 2, 2022
I had to confront a student last month.
For once it was not concerning discipline.
I could tell this young man was carrying an emotional weight from the time we were dismissed from school. He was distant, quiet, and not walking with his usual entourage.
As I questioned his disposition, there was an obvious reluctance as I sensed he was weighing in on what he wanted to share at that moment.
I could only imagine what goes through the mind of a 7th grade boy and the range of emotions they experience, however I was up for the challenge.
And then he spoke. As I listened to each word and looked into the face of this young man, I saw a younger version of myself.
He carried with him that same awkwardness I felt when I was his age. And a part of me was angered because I've never liked that time of my life, yet here it was, in my face once again.
For him , he was experiencing the trauma that comes with changing schools, leaving behind his first crush, and an intimate circle of friends that embraced his imperfections and frailties.
He was now at our school, and his experiences were soured with the insensitive comments of other teenage boys and girls that found his personality bothersome.
My heart hurt so much for this young man as well as for myself.
I realised that when I felt the same awkwardness in middle school there was never any adult (in school) that rallied behind my individuality or attempted to assist me with solutions in overcoming the daily battles I fought.
Was it their job? I don't know. It doesn't matter now.
However, I made the choice to be THIS person for him from that day forward.
It ALL makes sense now.
Without my hurt and experiences I would have never been able to lift him up.
And as long as I am able, I will continue to do so.