Monday, April 18, 2011

High School Claire

Had a teacher asked High School Claire to write a story about the most difficult thing that had ever happened to her and read it in front of 250+ people, she would have scoffed! (and then possibly scampered off to write a very melodramatic story, but damned if she would have read it aloud in front of anyone).

1999: two of my senior portraits, heehee

But miraculously, my high school students are very different than High School Claire, cause man did they blow me (and everyone else) away when they took on that very task.  

Over the course of the semester, my ROOTS students have been writing stories and poems about their incarcerated family members.  Some were present for their parent's arrest, others spent much of their childhood visiting their fathers or mothers in state prison, some have been incarcerated themselves.

The auditorium was overflowing, and there were at least 40 people standing.  I can hardly conceive of the bravery it must have taken for these teenagers to share their words.  I wish you all could have been there, but here are some short clips to give you an idea of what it was like:

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Can you see why I'm such a proud mama hen?

19 comments:

April said...

This makes me happy, too.

heather yalin said...

oh gf, you are one remarkable woman and your students so brave. i think they have a good role model :)

heather yalin said...

p.s. Rowan LOVES my glittery nails!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I literally just got goosebumps. This is amazing. I to this day still cannot speak or read in front of others. It's a major fear for me :(

Good for them!

And OMG you look nothing like high school Claire! Aw so innocent (not that you aren't now ;)!

the nyanzi report said...

Moving and brave.

Summer Athena said...

i love you. i am proud of you. chill-bumps. i almost need to bring my niece to talk to your kids.

and look at claire as a BABY! so young.

drollgirl said...

oh, this is so fab. the GUTS this must have taken! these kids are brave and trying to overcome, and that is very inspiring.

i will have to watch the videos at home (annoying boss is hovering around me a lot today), but i can only imagine how proud it must have made you!

E. Charlotte said...

AWESOME!!!! (Love your senior pic too!)

homemade grits said...

i love high school claire portraits. crackmeup. i'm proud of you.

Meghan said...

What an amazing, cathartic experience! That's awesome that you've provided this outlet!

And high school Claire is adorable!

AmericanBridget (Jones) said...

What a leader you are to your students, Claire. Oh how I wish I could have attended that! That is an amazing thing and you should be so proud of them.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

That is so powerful and you were such a big part of it! It is amazing what kids go through and experience at much earlier points in their lives these days.

xoxo,
Chic 'n Cheap Living

Gracie said...

Ohh Claire! Wow your kids are so brave. To be able to get up in front of people and say what they have written, a personal story to them. Amazing! You are one awesome person!

Faiza said...

thanks so much for posting the clips so we could all (somewhat) experience what you work hard at every single day. you are a hero claire!

Marz said...

I'm just so emotional after listening to these brave kids share a very personal experience. My heart broke as I listened to the first testimony. I'm so close to my father, I can't imagine never meeting him or seeing him or having his guidance in my life. I want to hug each of them! I'm so thankful for you Claire that you are the positive role model in each of their lives. You continue to inspire me every single day with the work you do as a teacher not only to these students, but to those incarcerated as well. I love you!!! Thanks so much for sharing, I kept wishing I could have been there!

Marz said...

p.s. I was so touched by the testimonies that I failed to mention how beautiful you have always been! Love the high school pictures!!! :) Your long hair looks gorgeous! :) And black is my signature colour. I swear it's all I wear. And as you can see - it never goes out of style! Love the photos! :)

J. said...

You are awesome. Plain and simple. <3

Micaela said...

WOW... i had a lump in my throat and my heart hurt for what they have been through. what brave students. high school micaela was like high school claire (love the portraits! lol)-- i can't even imagine what your kids are going through and how strong they must be.

since most of them don't have parents to look up to, it must be such a surreal feeling to know that you (in many ways!) are that person.

thank you for sharing these! you are amazing and should be a proud momma hen for sure!!!!

love you x

orsoifeel said...

These are so inspiring and what brave young people. I wish I had been so brave when I was their age. You are so amazing.. to be affecting change in these amazing kids.