Thank you so much, Bernice. This was a very encouraging and heart-wrenching comment. I’m well behind on my journey but I feel like it gets better and I’ve had to give up less ground to my kids. I realize that the reason I was able to build great relationships with my kids initially was that I let them get away with a lot of things and do whatever they want. I stopped doing that and have been more firm, to their dismay. It’s hard to be compassionate and firm at the same time.

Some of the bigger forces at play just seem so consuming. There’s a lot of hopelessness and resignation in some of the adults at work about these kids’ futures, and as bad as they may be, they might also once have been young and idealistic teachers like me that grew discouraged along the way.

Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire.” Email: Support me:

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