Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Life is filled with surprises


Here is my life changing moment.  

One day last Spring I received a message on FB's messenger, it just happened to pop up on my phone while I was sitting at my desk. The message stunned me and I cried right there at my desk.  
It said: "Hey Mrs Holt! Do you remember me?" 

Anton was a student of mine in North Little Rock, AR at Seventh Street Elementary.  He'd been searching online for 6 years for me. 10 years ago we left Little Rock and moved back to Iowa. It's not much to go on when you've only ever called someone "Mrs. Holt" but eventually I showed up on FB for him. Miracle.

We communicated for over a year back and forth from Iowa to Texas and eventually his situation changed and we made the family decision to bring him here to Iowa-on the bus. It took 3 days.  He'd never travelled that far on his own. He was so proud of himself for being willing to go far from home.

He wants to go to school, he wants to work, and live life like others do. He just needs a leg up. He is the first in his family to graduate from high school and he wants more out of life than what he has seen. I knew he was worth it way back in 5th grade when I helped him frequently at home and at school. He is adjusting to Iowa, the cold, and being part of our family again.  

Every day teachers make connections with students. We are teaching young human beings how to be human; how to think, create, and navigate the bigger world around them. It is seriously important work.

Most often we make a daily brief impression (make it kind) but every once in a while you make a life-changing affect on a person and that is monumental for both.  It might make you cry at your desk at some point. That Anton would look for me for 6 years brings me such joy; knowing that as a 5th grader he was paying attention to everything we did together.  I wish he could have found me sooner but it worked out when it did. I'm grateful for our time together now. 



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