Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Simple Request

Hello everyone! I hope you have all had a nice day!

As some of you know, I work at a high school as an integration aid for students who have difficulties integrating as well as those with behaviour problems. My belief is that no one is born “bad” but rather are the product of their environment i.e. disadvantaged, sometimes abusive or neglectful homes. I try to keep this perspective fresh in my mind (especially on days when my students are less than cooperative!)

I’ve wanted to write regarding this subject for some time but debated how it would be received on “The Life of Three” -read: would this be interesting enough for people to stop and read??? However, last night, I decided that although it might not be interesting enough for people to stop and read, it is important enough to me to at least share my thoughts…

What made the difference last night?

For the second time this month I spent my evening at home baking a birthday cake for students I have come to know quite well- partially for their positive achievements, partially for their difficult days but mainly it is because these two young ladies have lives (at 14 and 16 years old) that most people would describe as unbelievable, inconceivable and just plain heart breaking. Neglect, parental drug use and physical abuse just scratches the surface of what these girls have been made to endure in their young lives. Despite the horror-show that is their personal lives however, these girls come to school every day ready and willing to learn- an attempt to overcome the negative cycle that has been repeating itself in their respective families for years.

I could go on and on with the sad details but instead I would just like to ask of you one thing: the next time you encounter a situation that leads you to think to yourself (or out loud for that matter) “those rotten teenagers!!!” please, take a moment to pause and ask yourself what these kids might be going home to. We all have bad days and situations that get us down however as adults, we have the power to go home and either take charge of the situation or make changes (most of the time.) For many of these kids however, they don’t have that option; they must live with the hand they were dealt until they reach the age of majority. So please, please, have a little patience, a little empathy, a little understanding. Are these kids perfect? No. But I can promise you that it is empathy, patience and understanding that will help them grow into positive, productive, happy young adults thus hopefully breaking the cycle!

And why the birthday cakes you might ask (apart from the fact that I know & love my students...) Sadly, on their 14/16 birthdays that have come and gone, they had never once been given a birthday cake on their special day. As if being a teenager these days isn’t hard enough…

Much love & thanks for taking the time