Dear Marcela

education, photography

Dear Marcela,

Teach me how to be brave.

I look to you when I start to feel overwhelmed by your classmates’ behaviors, and I admire your strength. The rest of the class might be in a state of chaos: talking, out of their seats, sleeping, or doing Lord-knows-what, but I always catch you leading from a place of courage and quiet confidence.

You must be frustrated. I can tell how badly you want to learn. I am exhausted, because I long to teach, but lately I’ve had to be more of a disciplinarian.

You are stronger than I am in so many ways. The class gets rowdy, and I fight the urge to cry, while I watch you just work harder. I start to yell, and I notice that you tap the shoulders of the students around you to bring them back to focus.

Thank you for being you in an environment where it would be very easy to conform.

It is brave to be a strong, intelligent young woman in middle school. While most of your classmates desperately seek to fit in, you are comfortable in your own skin. To know who you are and what you stand for is courageous.

I want to be you when I grow up.

All my love,

-Ms. Jackson

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