Less than 48 hours before the school year began, I got an e-mail from a student I'll call Sarah. Sarah just moved to the U.S. last year, but she knew enough English to get the ball rolling, and she's a bright and hard-working young lady. She did very well at our school.
Sarah's e-mail, however, said that her mother wanted her to transfer schools to be closer to her sisters, who would be attending school in Manhattan. Honestly, it made me so upset that I couldn't respond to her right away. Sarah's had quite a bit of upheaval in her life in the past year: moving to a new country without her siblings at first, starting at a new school, going back to her native country for almost a month in March. And she thrived despite all of that. She's doing well. So maybe this next move will be fine for her too.
But I was still angry. It made me feel like no one in Sarah's family is looking out for her, that she's a widget to be constantly repositioned depending on what's most convenient for everyone else. Maybe it's a question of culture, of different values. Maybe Sarah expected this and understands it and is totally okay with it. I don't know. I just don't understand why she can't stay someplace where she was doing well and why she has to have her life torn apart again.
Sorry to start my school year posting on such a down note here. I'm sad on Sarah's behalf and not sure how vehemently I can oppose this particular move at school, so here I am. I guess I can say that that's the worst thing that happened to me yesterday and I was, on the whole, very excited to be back and to meet my new kids, and see my old ones again, tomorrow.
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.