Today my student Regina walks into my class wearing fluorescent blue eye makeup and a mohawk that makes her look like a parrot.
Today my student listens to screamo music and eyes me warily when I walk by, daring me not to understand.
Today she says, “I’m happy because my friend feels a lot better after coming out.”
Today another teacher pulls me aside and tells me about what’s going on in her home life.
Today, today, today.
Today I don’t pull her out into the hallway. I don’t hold her after class. I don’t try to save her.
Today, I smile at her.
Today, I affirm her.
Today, I share her that I care about her, simply because she is a person.
Today, I do what I came here to do.