Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This Is Not a Happy Post, But Maybe a Necessary One

One of my students has cancer.  I guess, technically, he's not "mine" as the other art teacher had him in her class this year (all 3 weeks he was here).  But I remember him in kindergarten (when he was SO rambunctious in class, when he saw me out with my family at a restaurant he nearly knocked me over with his powerful hug), and last year, when he was in fifth grade. His teacher had concerns about his need to go to the bathroom all the time, so his mom took him for a checkup and they found brain tumors.  Stage 4.  It nearly takes my breath away whenever I think about it.  But he's hanging in, responding to treatments.  I pray for him and his family so often, sometimes (it feels) with every breath.  Because I know what it's like to lose a child, and I don't want that pain for anyone.
If you teach long enough (and I'm starting my 16th year next year), you'll have the crushing pain of losing a student.  Whether it's your second day teaching (did that happen to anyone else, or just me?) or your 20th year, something horrible, incomprehensible will happen.  And it sucks. 
So what can we do? As art teachers?  We can love them up one side and down another while we've got them in our rooms.  We can work hard to make joy in little moments and not get caught up in the day-to-day, gotta-get-this-done, WHY-are-you-bothering-me-with-that sort of things that happen in schools.  Because you never know who or when or what could happen (in an instant) to change it all.  Let's all reaffirm our commitment to bring as much joy and happiness to others as we can for as much and as long as we can.
Art on, friends.

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