I got game

hard time, indeed

hard time, indeed

Today I substitute taught at a juvenile correctional facility.

Juvie.

I had heard about the facility a while ago, and i was tempted to fill-in there but it wasn’t until I talked to some teachers at another local school that I really thought i’d give it a try.

Like a lot of people, I was nervous to go there.  I was intimidated by the fact that the kids there are…incarcerated.  But the more I heard about it, the more intrigued I was:  small class sizes, no possibility of snow days, kids whose very freedom depends on their cooperation with authority. From what I could see, these weren’t bad kids.  they are kids who did some really dumb, or even bad things; but they themselves did not seem like bad people.

I played basketball with the boys’ PE class.  It was probably the one time of the day that they are allowed outside and the closest thing they currently have to a sense of freedom.  I’ve never been much of a basketball player.  I’ve always lacked the coordination for the sport; but I wanted to connect with the kids.  I actually scored 8 points.

The entire day was a very…humbling experience.  It really helped me put a lot of things into perspective.  Concerns and stressors that I’ve had lately suddenly didn’t quite so important.  The kids with whom i worked were pretty much stripped down to the basics – literally.  These are young people who have lost their freedom.    The experience mad me not only appreciate the small things; but it also made me realize that things currently can and will work out .

Naturally, seeing these young people there naturally got me thinking about The Kid and hoping that he stays out of trouble. Given the chance, I would most certainly work at this facility again.

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