Yesterday, I was feeling pretty low as a result of chronic pain and sleep deprivation. However, I dragged myself along to the local primary school where I mentor three at-risk boys, all of whom have pretty sad home lives, wondering “am I actually doing any good?”
I had started a basic cooking program with the boys as a change from the usual board games and other activities we do to give them a chance to talk to me about anything they like and hopefully equip them with a few handy skills at the same time. School holidays had interrupted our interaction and I hadn’t received any feedback on what they thought of the idea.
Walking into the classroom I received the usual greeting from the kids after being prompted by their teacher. I replied in kind and then looked around for one of my mentees who appeared to be absent. Suddenly, there he was behind me with a big beaming smile of welcome.
We exchanged high fives and adjourned to an adjoining block to use the kitchen to make a batch of Anzac biscuits. Long story short, while our funny looking biscuits were cooling I sent the boys back to class who were protesting that the time had gone too quickly. I replied that I would deliver the baking when it had cooled and say goodbye until next week.
Of course, when I got to their classroom I found they had all gone to their next lesson so I had to await their return.
Now here’s the good bit, the point of this story. Their teacher approached me before I left to make a point of telling me, “So and so really loves you. You make such a difference in his life and he really missed you during the holidays. Thank you for all you do! (She had tears in her eyes at this stage). His Nan asked me to thank you too! “
I can’t give any details as to the home life of the boy in question for reasons of confidentiality, suffice to say it would break the hardest heart!
This feedback really made my day!
I have received similar reactions from another school where I mentor.
Never doubt yourself or the impact a little love can have!