I remember sitting in class in college while the teacher taught about the different areas of interpreting. I remember outright dismissing educational interpreting. I don’t do mornings. REALLY DON’T do mornings. Especially ones as early as school starts. I did not take the educational interpreting classes. I was NOT going to work in a school.
School found me. 5 years ago I landed in middle school with 3 of the sweetest little boys you’ve ever seen. “Mine” was going through a rough time and was a handful, to say the least, but I’d been there too and I understood and adored him. He’d move on to another high school after freshman year, but I’d get to stay with the other 2.
In the 5 years that I have been with these boys I have watched them go through so much. I have watched awkward, clumsy 14 year olds become strong, athletic, confident young men. I have watched them struggle, and fight, and fail, and be picked on, and have their hearts broken, and try again, and win, and grow and succeed.
I was there as a goofy kid, with a questionable grasp on humor and an endless list of reasons why he wasn’t prepared became a hard working, responsible, witty leader to his teammates and cohorts.
I was there while a sweet, smart boy who just wanted to be a part of the team got knocked down but kept fighting and kept smiling and found a place where he could fit in and flourish.
I have been there for most every test, project, meet, competition, field trip, assembly….. I have at times spent more time with them than with my own children.
I have been with their classmates every day and watched them grow alongside them. (They were all shorter than me once, and now I look up to most of them!) I have seen THEM grow and change and become the people that will head off to change our world.
As their senior year closes I have been there as they announced their college acceptances, marched their last competition, threw their last shot put, made their last presentation, and finished their last labs. We sit at their award ceremonies and marvel at how grown up they’ve become, how far they’ve come, how little they were. We’ve wanted to hug them, cheer for them, cry for them, and shake the hell out of them at times. (At least we didn’t have to feed them! 😬)
It’s because of them that I fell in love with educational interpreting. It’s because of them that I took all the extra night classes after I graduated to stay with them. They were my very first students and they have been the greatest “first kids” anyone could ever ask for. Kids will come and go, and I’m sure I will be fond of all of them, but these boys will always hold a special place in my heart as “my first”. I am quickly becoming a bigger mess with each ceremony and banquet as I realize that these crazy kids are about to leave and become adults and go off to do all the wonderful things they should with their lives. They have been a gift to me. They have changed my life for the better and I will never forget them.
So don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here with a box of tissues crying about how proud I am of a bunch of kids that aren’t mine. I just wanted to share why they’re so special to me. 😢😂😍