|Image from here|
I call them ghost children, those students who pop up in our classroom for weeks or months only to vanish again as quickly as they appeared. One student, let’s call him Tom, showed up a couple of weeks into the school year ready to learn. Hailing from Chicago, he was so excited about having art, gym, and regular teachers rather than subs. At his old school they didn’t have such luxuries I quickly discovered. I spoke to his mom several times on the phone, asking if there was anything we could do to help her find a home, a job, etc. Her main concern was always Tom and his education, particularly getting him out of trouble and into learning.
Every day, Tom greeted me with the biggest smile. He was ready to learn, no matter the obstacles and just couldn’t believe all of the “amazing” things we were doing. Blogging, in particular, was something he loved to do, writing stories that made little sense and never quite fulfilling the task at hand. But he wanted to learn, to connect, to be a part of something.
And then, one day he was gone. We called home and got no answer. The weekend came and another couple of days passed by and his seat continued to be empty. I reached out, once getting a family member on the phone stating he would be back the next day. Days passed and I got more people involved, trying to find my student, worrying where he had gone’ and why his stuff hadn’t gone with him.
More than 2 weeks has passed and this morning I opened up our kidblog. There was a new post waiting for my approval:
hay ever one this is Tom what up i am likening my new school sorry miss ripp i had to transfer but i will talk to you and the class ever day tell Nathan Erick Hannah Lewis well ever body i miss them by
There he was, letting me know everything was alright, reaching out. Maybe this blogging thing makes a difference after all.