That last birdwatching post was kind of a procrastination post, something to distract me from these huge, overwhelming issues that I really want to write about but am not sure how to attack.
Students, man. They're going to break my heart. One of my kiddos is withdrawing today, with 11 instructional days left of the school year, because he doesn't feel safe at school. One of my kiddos just turned in a paper rife with excruciating details about calling the police to keep her dad from assaulting her mom, then giving the testimony that sent him to jail. One of my kiddos comes to school every single day--every day--in the same putrid clothes because he's homeless and his mom cares more about drugs than she does about his having anything to wear or eat.
It is impossible for me to teach these guys without letting them into my heart, and it is impossible for me to let them into my heart without feeling every day that I'm leaving myself wide open to be chewed up and spit out. They are needy needy needy and still, for the most part, utterly self-centered; they will take as much as I can give and then some, and at the end, I will still feel like I couldn't do enough. They will break my heart, over and over and over, and they will have no idea--and I will let them do it, because sometimes I'm the only one who will.