I Am Not Your Savior
One of my students had to go home the other day, and for some reason I couldn’t stop crying because of it. I am crying now even thinking about it.
I knew he was one of the weak ones; he was actually repeating the class because he failed the previous one. But I’d seen improvements from him, and he tried so hard to keep up, and I kept thinking I should do something to help him.
But that opportunity never came, because the academic director had told him before that if he still couldn’t improve after three weeks, he had to go home, and I didn’t know anything about it.
What killed me more was the fact that he didn’t tell me about it, he’d kept it to himself for three weeks and I couldn’t do anything to keep him in the class because he had already made an agreement with the Academic Director. I just thought it was deeply unfair that he couldn’t stay until the end of the course and get to be interviewed like the rest of the students there. I even stated my objection but the AD was adamant that what was agreed couldn’t be changed.
It was hard for me to see him go, as I was the one who saw him everyday in class, and I noticed how hard he tried, and he did show improvements, and my belief in him grew; I had faith that he could make it this time around.
When the news had to be given to him, I saw that he was disappointed, but what killed me more was that he was still smiling and said that it was alright, that he would come back next year and try again. He was so optimistic still, even though he had failed.
It was even more unbearable to see him come to class and pack his bags while the rest of his classmates just stared at him in disbelief. I had to hide what I was feeling at that time, and fortunately I was pretty good at it. I’m not sure whether the students saw what my face looked like at that time but I was about ready to cry right then and there, in front of all of them.
It’s funny in a way, because this class was pretty solid and most of them were quite smart. But there was always the one student that I couldn’t save. It’s funny how I cared more about the one that I couldn’t save. And I don’t know why up to this moment I am still deeply troubled by it. Everytime I think about it, I have tears in my eyes.
Yesterday he added me on Facebook and I told him how sorry I was for not being able to help him, and he said, “It’s OK, Ma’am. I am stupid.”
No, you are not. No one is. You are good, but in the real world, being good is simply not enough. There is no place for good people who have to work ten times harder than the rest just because they are slow. There’s no place for effort, no matter how insignificant, to be appreciated. And I feel like I am a part of this cruel world.
I am sorry, I am not your savior. I wish I could be.