I See You, All of You – A Message to My Students


I see you

I saw him come to school, shoes on the wrong feet, hair unbrushed, with lice untreated.

I saw the cries for help and attention— as he acted out and vandalized his seat.

I saw him come to school wearing dad’s oversized shirt for the third time this week.

He was sarcastic and sad, most of the time. Igor was his nickname.

I saw her come in, working hard every day but the effects of the abuse and brain damage were starting to show in 1st grade.

I saw him come in.

I saw him shoveling his second breakfast down, faster than he could chew.

I didn’t see her come in but once or twice a week she never really came to school.

I saw a bright girl falling more and more behind academically.

I saw her crying in front of the bus, lost and confused
bouncing from one school and back again.

I see you, all of you.

I know life has already let you down. Life has already shown you sadness that you shouldn’t know.

But I vow to show up. I vow to show you love and consistency. I vow to ask you about your day and your weekend. I vow to teach you rules, I vow to hold you accountable. I vow to be a teacher in all the ways I know how.

I vow to put your shoes on the right feet, to stock up on extra snacks, to turn my head the other way when you grab an extra sandwich in the lunchline. I vow to help you find your way when you feel sad and lost. Mostly, I vow to show up when life is letting you down.


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