Thursday, August 24, 2006

Where'd They Go

Schools been session for a week and the dust is settling.
The cries of “Welcome Back” and “I’m so Glad to See You” are mere echoes.

Then I look around and I notice some children aren’t with us any more. We have a high mobility – it’s in the 90+% so we’re used to kids coming and going but there are some that make a niche for themselves. And they leave an empty space behind when they vanish.

Where’d the 3rd grader who loved to read go? She’s a recent immigrant, just learning English and could read circles around everyone when it came to the Spanish language books. She loved the 2 Harry Potter books we had & over the summer I’d ordered the rest of the series in Spanish just for her. I hope her new school library has them.

And where is the 2nd grader who was in my G/T class? I dropped her off at daycare one day a week as a favor to her single, working Mom and she talked my ear off the entire trip. She so wanted a pet – I hope they moved to a house so she can have one.

What about M? He’s the determined 4rd grader who is switching from Spanish to English and gobbling up the Bailey School Kids books as fast as he can. He was determined to earn his way into the Sleepover for the second year in a row and by golly he did. I hope he landed at a school that will give him a little extra attention. He has the potential to break out of the cycle of a life as a day laborer and construction worker.

Z is gone too. A precocious 1st grader, he wasn’t just gifted, he was profoundly gifted.
Give him a laptop and PowerPoint and he’d be engaged for hours. I hope he ends up with a teacher, who will appreciate his very outside the box comments and observations.

So is A, just six years old, with a smile a mile wide that show his missing front teeth.
He was so sweet though I’d heard through the grapevine that his parents were none to pleasant. I wonder if his permanent teeth came in over the summer?

I really miss G, a little owl eyed boy with wire rimed glasses. Rarely said much –my Spanish and his English are on about the same level but he did love the M& Ms game I had on one of the library computers. Computers transcend the language barrier. I hope his new librarian realizes that too.

His little spokesperson is gone too. Big brown eyes rimmed by long, lush lashes and an amazing command of the English language for one who spent most of his time in a Spanish dominant environment. He was always willing to help with translations.
I hope he has found a teacher who appreciates his gifts.

Of course, we have new kids to fill up the empty slots. I’ve dubbed one Mr. Math. He’s barely 9 and can do decimals in his head. I’ve a 3rd grader who is reading 4 books a day and is so proud that she’s learned to check the books in and out by herself. There will be others as the year progresses. However, there are always some children I will always remember and wonder about, no matter how many others have come and gone.


Anonymous said...

You know you got me for sure with this one G!! I always wondered about the kid I should have bought the shoes for instead using my booktape to help him keep his together...and the one who managed to stay in school only because I had enough furniture moving "jobs" the year I was renovated that he could spend entire days with me when things were not going so well elsewhere!..and those were 20 yrs ago. A lovely, lovely post that allowed me to think once again about the ones who came into my life and left their marks! you know I'll be back often.

MsAbcMom said...

It is interesting that I read this now because I am currently suffering from "kids that moved away-itis!" There is one child in particular that I miss so much. She was my student from Mexico in one year made so much growth that she made it to grade level. She was such a hard worker. I was counting the days for school to start so I could talk to her and check in with her. Now she's gone...

Julie said...

I still think about the kids I worked with 20 years ago. Great post!

Dree said...

We haven't even started school yet, but I'm already mourning the loss of several of our former students. Everytime I stop in the office, our secretary tells me about another family who moved, or another child who transferred. I hate not being able to say goodbye! I can only hope they fare well in their new schools.

Mrs. T said...

Don't we get attached to our students? When I taught in a bilingual ed program our kids were pretty transient. The only nice thing about that was that sometimes they would swing back our way.
ps I saw on your profile that you love Maud Hart Lovelace. I am reading the Betsy-Tacy books with my daughters (ages 6 and 8) right now. We LOVE them.

Mrs. Ris said...

I await the official tally as school starts next week. Who will have moved away, and with them goes a "little piece of my heart"? Unitl then, I busy myself with preparations that will engage my favorites should they return (please, let them return), and welcome the new kids who undoubtedly will also take their own little piece of my heart.

Nancy said...

oh, You got me with this one too. I wonder where some very little people went, and how they grew.

We have them such a short time and then, they're gone. Their lives going on without us except in memory.

I really miss one little critter who could manage to get muddy in the middle of a clean cafeteria...

He's the one who tugged on my shirt one day, just to say: Ah Wuv's yew techer" (that's Texan for "I love you teacher".. just for y'all poor teachers up north.


Library Mama said...

I'm fortunate to work in a school that doesn't actually have much of a turnover rate. We don't lose many kids, but we do get a few new ones. This year, in a school of around 400 students, we gained 52 over the summer.

Still, you're right, each and every one of them claims a little bit of my heart, and when one does leave, it leaves a bit of a hole.

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

You tugged at my heart strings. Many of our move-ins and move-outs tend to stay within the system. I have students who come and go all year long as the rent comes due or as custody changes from one grandparent to the next. One day they are there, the next they aren't. Then all of a sudden several weeks later they are back again.

Mamacita said...

All of your posts are good, but this is one of your very best.

. . . sniff. . . .

Library Lady said...

Public librarians get this too. I have the kids who have come to programs for years and (!) mysteriously disappear from the library when they head off to elementary school. And then there are the kids who move--we're a very transient area.

And I, too, still think about the kids that I knew 20 years ago. In fact, I occasionally run into them in stores and other such, and it always tickles me when they remember me--I really don't expect most of them to do so.