Teachers aren't supposed to have favourites, but we do. One of my favourites is a sparkly, happy and perky girl who marches to her own beat. She's bright, cute as a button, and not afraid to say what's on her mind. She's the kind of kid I wish I could be friends with. Of course, she's way to cool to be in my league...
I knew she wanted a baby, because she told me. She loves her boyfriend (he's NOT one of my favourites) and wants a little person to call her own. Over the course of six months in my classes, she has opened up and shared some very clear thoughts and opinions with the group, as well as in private conversations. I respect her point of view. Like I said, she's a smart girl.
I talked with the kids about teen pregnancy. I showed videos of their peers, trying to dispel the romantic notions. We created budgets, showing the ugly truth about having another being to care for. I talked about lost dreams, childhoods ended, and the importance of education. I sent home my "Babies" for weekends of feeding and diapers. But somehow, I still feel I failed.
When she told me she was pregnant, my heart broke for her. I hugged her, and said she could always come to me for anything, but really I just wanted to shake her.
She's seventeen, barely past being a baby herself, and she's pregnant.