Last night, I started watching "Country Boys" a documentary on PBS. It is a three part series that documents the lives of two teens from Rural Kentucky for three years. The film shows clearly the effects of poverty on children and their families. It also makes it very clear that you can have some monitary resources, but be missing other resources (i.e., family) and have trouble. The boys attend an alternative high school.
The thing that struck me the most was the importance of that significant adult in your life. It is that mentoring-believing-in-you relationship that is the key to moving kids from a place of no hope to hope. It was the theme in "A Framework for Understanding Poverty" by Ruby Payne.
In the movie, Chris is heard saying, " I am the lock and my mother is the key. If she wanted me to finish my work, I would do it." This is how it is...there is someone out there who is the key for each child. The hard part is recognizing it. It's hard to know when you are the key for someone.
I often wonder what it is that kids might remember about our school. Will they remember that there were adults that cared about them? I hope so. Will they see us as keys to helping them get "unlocked"? I hope so.
I think the question that I will post near my desk somewhere is: "Whose key are you today?"