an amazing thing happened…

5 Dec

I don’t talk blog about school all that often. I am a teacher at an alternative high school. My students are considered “at-risk” youth and they have storied that would make even the black-hearted person teary eyed. I love what I do and feel like I was meant to work with these kids.  My kids are labeled as bad, troubled, even delinquent and while some have been in trouble and they are by no means angels, they are kids and they just need someone to listen and care.

To make a long story short, I teach a lot more than just reading and writing. I teach life skills – the real skills they will need later in life. Truth be told, I learn as much from my students as I hope they learn from me.

None of this is amazing, but stay with me!

On Fridays, I tag along with the gym teacher for a running club. We were hoping my participation would encourage the girls to join in.  No girls joined.  The first week was hell for me. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep up with 16 year old boys?!?  I gave it my all.

This week was different.

This week an amazing thing happened.

This week one of my girls (let’s call her Jill, but that’s not her name) came to me. Jill was hesitant when she admitted that she wanted to run but not with the boys. I took her up on it and we broke off from the boys and went in a different direction.  Jill had her gall bladder removed last year and has the potential for health problems.  Jill came to me because she has seen the changes I have made – she had missed most of last year and was surprised to see me when she came back to school.  I was excited that Jill would come to me.

We ran/walked (30 second intervals) for 15 minutes. We talked about life and health and a healthy life when everything in real life is complete chaos.  I told Jill of my struggles and accomplishments. I listened to Jill share her concerns and struggles.  I had never had this deep of a conversation.

Jill is very closed and guarded and a bit of a hardass. And she came to me. She wants to learn healthy and she came to me. This is HUGE!

I am making an impact.

I am not perfect and I am still a work in progress but I am making an impact.

I still need a lot of help myself.  I have been struggling (no secret, right?!?) but I keep fighting and trying. Talking with Jill made me realize that I cannot give up, I MUST fight.

I could use some help. For myself, for my family, for my students. We ALL benefit!! The teacher needs to learn more about calorie counting and finally get myself into the best shape of my life.

*This post was totally inspired by a fabulous student. She was hesitant but she asked for help. I was hesitant as well. You see, Foody has a contest on her blog for a gadget that could help me find the missing link between calories in and calories out. I want my own Coach Jen and DirectLife activity monitor. So even though I really did not think I would enter this giveaway, I have changed my mind and decided to ask Foody to please send me a DirectLife activity monitor for the next leg of my journey. PLEASE.


19 Responses to “an amazing thing happened…”

  1. Mizfitonline December 6, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    You are amazing jen. Touching lives and changing people. I’m off to read Foodys contest to see how we can get you the direct life monitor..,.

  2. Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    I am all teary for you! This is (or should be) the number 1 reason we go into education…to make a difference in the lives of your students. You are definitely making a difference in “Jill’s” life. I believe that when she looks back after graduation and thinks of an amazing teacher who took the time to listen to her and support her, she will think of you. ((hugs)) my friend. Keep up the good work!

  3. KCLAnderson (Karen) December 6, 2010 at 3:16 am #

    Jen…I am so glad you are there for Jill!! I’m pulling for you! I hope you win!

  4. AJ aka Ajlovestolose December 6, 2010 at 3:21 am #

    this is so exciting! You are such a inspiration for them. I will be teaching in the same type of school next year and it is so nice to hear the positive stories that come from you doing your hardest to make a difference. 🙂

  5. Nadine December 6, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    Moments like these come along SO rarely in a persons life…yours, and hers. She finds the strength she needs to speak up, to reach out, and you make the connection that neither of you will ever forget. THIS is what it is all about — the ultimate pay it forward. It will be an incredble motivator for you both. WAY TO GO Jen! Good luck with winning the activity monitor — I’ve heard of some people that have had great success with similar gadgets!

  6. Jules December 6, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    You know Jen..this is truly what it is about. I worked with *at-risk* kids for a year until the non profit lost its funding…that was five and a half years ago and I still MISS it! Truly still MISS it… These kids have SO MUCH to offer but need to learn to trust…THAT is what you have given Jill…..The opportunity to SEE she can make a difference!

  7. Michael Meulstee December 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    I think this wil be a great thing for you and for her, as much as she looks up to you, make her your motivation to keep pressing forward, this seems, almost, like validation for all your hard work and struggles.

    I’m so happy you found a running buddy and she found a mentor.

  8. Loser For Life December 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    How cool is that, Jen! You continue to ROCK!

  9. Kyra December 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    You are such an inspiration to all of us Jen!

  10. Ryan December 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    This is bar far the best news to read to start the week off right. All it takes is one person then it will turn into a village, soon she’ll be known as Mama Jen.

    Keep at it, soon you’ll have a workout crew to go running. Hope you feel proud of yourself this is just an amazing turn of events.

  11. Sheila December 6, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    I am glad she has you to open up too. Great job

  12. Kiran December 6, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    I am so glad she could open up to you. You are awesome Jen 🙂

  13. FatFighterTV December 8, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    That is so awesome that she came to you! You should be proud of your accomplishments – in getting healthy, and in what you’re giving these kids, too. 🙂

  14. Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    What an awesome realization – YOU are impacting your students! We know that teachers do but it’s so amazing to have a student come TO you. Great job!!!! 🙂

  15. Kayla December 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Beautiful post, Jen1 Thank you so much for sharing it with us. You are an amazing person and touch people’s lives in so many ways.

  16. Wifey December 16, 2010 at 1:17 am #

    How wonderful! Of course you are making an impact! Just imagine all of the people you’ve also influenced that haven’t said a word.

    So excited for you!

    Winks & Smiles,


  1. Who Wants a DirectLife monitor? « foodfoodbodybody - December 6, 2010

    […] is asking for help after finding out she was making a difference in one of her student’s […]

  2. » Blog Archive » I needed it - December 9, 2010

    […] things have been happening: Did you read about the amazing thing that happened last week?? Go check it out, please! I never really toot my own horn or really ask […]

  3. » Blog Archive » Inspiration - December 21, 2010

    […] I could have never expected a student to credit me with her desire to be healthy. I blogged about this last week and I am still in awe. In a nutshell, one of my students, Jill, came to me for advice on […]

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