It is with great sadness that I write this post. I got the news today that I lost one. Truly and completely lost one. Potential gone, hope gone, belief that it's all worth it gone. I want to quit (and frankly lately I want to quit a lot) truly and unequivocally quit, change jobs. Throw in the towel, crawl into a dark hole and recognize that I will never make a difference and even if for some strange shining few years it appears that I did--know that it won't matter, in the end it won't have mattered. Because I am not that great and I can't overcome any struggles the kids have. Life is real--their time with me is fleeting and I am not actually that good. My students' successes are not due to anything special in me, my claiming of any role in my students' successes are mere stealing of another one's actual success.
I'd like to end this with hope, with redemption. But for now I don't feel any. I feel defeated. I feel deflated. I feel like I have to get up again, convince my students that I believe it'll be different for them. That they won't give in to the world's vices around them. But I don't feel it tonight. Because tonight I go to bed knowing that I've been wrong. For the past 5 years, I had a former student I thought of on my hardest days, the student that I remembered whenever I had a moment where I thought I couldn't go on, the student who came in had an amazing growth--went from throwing desks to student body president, the student who made me believe in myself. Well, he was a lie because in the end the lure of drugs, the lure of a different outcome--well, that won. And I lost a runner. I lost THE runner. And for now I've lost myself.