School years fly by anymore. I thought it'd be so easy keeping up with this blog, but it's not. It slips to the back of my mind and then the old adage, "out of sight out of mind" is in full swing!
S is a student I taught almost three years ago. She's been through third grade twice and was retained somewhere else along the line. She's still plugging her way through Elementary School. It's hard for her. But she's always smiling.
Two weeks ago, she saw me in the cafeteria and she said, "Mrs. Nations, when you gonna get me some McDonalds and come eat with me?" I thought it was a strange request. I haven't even brought my own son McDonalds to eat with him. I stopped to talk to her more.
"S, why do you want me to bring you McDonalds?"
She replied, "Because I just want to eat with you. And I thought you could bring me something good to eat when we do."
With eyelashes batting and smile fully engaged, I couldn't resist her. "S, I promise I'll bring it. It's going to have to be in two weeks because I have meetings this week and part of next."
You would have thought I'd just handed the girl the $20,000 gold star from Kid Nation!
I reflected on it afterwards. It was kind of an "out of the blue" request. But somehow it seems important to her that we connect. If I really get honest and sift through all the reasons I'm in education today, that is the core reason: to connect with kids.
This is the week I have to go to McDonalds for her. It's the week she's been waiting for. So today when I saw her she said, "If I haven't had a good day, will you still bring me McDonalds?" I thought that was an interesting question.
I asked her, "How long have you known me? And what do you think the answer to that question is?" She told me that she knew that she had to behave to get the lunch.
Tomorrow I plan to bring her McDonalds for lunch. And I hope that somehow in the course of our conversation I have the chance to once again remind S just how special she is. I hope that she will take this insignificant act and store it in her memory bank so that one day she'll be able to say, "I remember when Mrs. Nations brought me lunch and we ate and talked together." And I hope that somehow in the course of a happy meal she feels connected. For then I will have done my job for that day.