Roughly 8 months ago, my star student told me she was pregnant. This wasn't her first pregnancy, but it was the first she decided to carry to term. She was hesitant at first to tell me because she thought (correctly) that I would be upset. Not at her decision to have sex, not because she was sneaking around about it, but because I can see how much harder it will make her life. She's so smart and so driven that I believe that she will not let being a mother derail her dreams; however, it will be much more difficult. The child's father will likely not be in the picture and is all around just not a good role model so I worry about the baby too.
What are me and some of her other teachers doing? Running around frantically trying to compile a list of things she needs and trying to get them on amazon. Is she any help? NOPE! Why? Because she has no idea what she's doing. Outside of reading a few buzzfeed articles on breastfeeding when I forget to close my laptop, she's woefully unprepared. We've gotten her baby books that she hasn't read because they are "boring" and she's too busy with school work. We've started talking to her about budgeting and realistically looking at the cost of babies. I've helped her get an internship and look for jobs so she can make money to support her child. What's her response? "Y'all are stressing me out, my mama's just going to help so I don't need to worry about all that." Almost had a heart attack. I worry about her baby because I worry about her. I worry about her because she is my student and I'm invested in her future. I'm invested in that future because I care about the future of our city. That's why I teach and I guess this is just another part of that calling.
What makes it extra hard? Just found out that there's another student that many of us very much enjoy that is pregnant as well. It's a tough cycle to break and it's tough being inside the eye of the storm watching it all happen in real time. It's harder on them having to live it, but being a spectator is no picnic either.