Why am I here? What am I doing?

Me: Where do I begin?

Myself: At the beginning, of course!

Me: And just where IS the beginning?

Myself: Just tell them why you decided to start this endeavor that you have little time for, but insist on doing anyway.

Me: But there are so many reasons!

Myself: Pick one and roll with it. See where it takes you.

I: Okay, here goes.

 

Picture this. I’m in my Rabbi’s office having a pre-marital counseling session and I randomly boast of my ability to write a book about all the things I’ve learned as a high school teacher. My Rabbi was intrigued. She thought it was a great idea. She even said that my theoretical book would fill a desperate need. I felt humbled, and admittedly silenced. Who am I to claim that I have any more knowledge or expertise than the random Josephine? Well, I’ll tell you.

I am the teacher that your children go to when they can’t talk to you.

Interesting things have happened between that counseling session and today. New television shows claiming to be about “real” teens have joined the airwaves. I’ve read editorials, heard politicians wax on and my own family members complain all about ineffective teachers, and dangerous schools filled with sex-crazed kids toting guns. I’ve read articles that even had ME thinking that all students engage in dangerous behaviors from sexting to lord knows what else. I’m not gonna lie – some of what you read is true. Not all of my own students are angels. Some of them are in gangs. Some of them have parents who are in jail. Yes, today’s teens ARE exposed to way more than they should be and are given way more unsupervised time than is good for them. Teens are angry. They are confused. They are hurt. They want to feel validated. They want to hear the truth even if they say they don’t. They want to be heard without feeling pre-judged. And that is why they come to me.

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