This past week a former student was charged in the armed robbery of a local bank. Within a few miles were several schools. The middle school where I taught this young man is across the intersection and the high school where my child is a student is down the street. The news coverage was extensive and many of his former teachers made comments demonstrating our collective sadness. I am sad this young man, along with two others, has devastated their families and their futures, however, on this very same day, my Facebook page was full of other wonderful stories the media had no interest in covering.
I love Facebook, because it is the “news media” owned by us. We report our own stories. This past week there was a great pictorial of one former student and her new baby girl. The baby is so beautiful. Then there was a great little story of another former student’s daughter hating to leave pre-school. The picture was priceless. One former student is in a very intense military language school and when she posts how hard she is working, I pray for her and her classmates to learn what they need to learn in order to best serve our country. Another is a Marine and his adventures make me smile. Some former students are studying to be teachers. YEAH! One is finishing her OBGYN residency. I remember her over the top sense of humor in 7th grade and know her bedside manner will be second to none. Another is a tech genius and sends me great stories about new inventions and discoveries. I love them all.
Facebook allows me to see the stories of students as they live their lives. My few months with them may or may not have always made a difference, but their lives bring me great joy. I am so proud of them and the people they are. As for the ones who make bad choices, I remember them each night in my prayers and pray they find the grace, which I, a sinner, have found. May their poor choices be a turning point to mercy and love for others.
I am a teacher, which in a single word, sums up my passions and my belief in the future.