Just learned that another one of my students, who is on the 5 year path through high school due to attendance issues, is pregnant. By her boyfriend, a boy I taught last year who has dropped out.
An old friend used to say that there were few accidental pregnancies - that most are a deliberate choice on the part of the girl. I thought he was a cynic. I don't know so much anymore.
I see the ones making this choice. I know that whatever their capabilities are in school, they decided before I ever met them that they were not going to do the work necessary to reach what they could. And that nothing I tried was going to change that.
I would have been humiliated to be pregnant at 16 but I had plans that didn't include children (or really a steady boyfriend) at that point. These girls are beyond proud. It is as if this is the culminating point of high school.
Since they are not investing in their own education - I grieve for their children.
Another teacher arranged for a student to come in to take a test when other students weren't around so "she wouldn't be embarrassed." Embarrassed? This is the kid who discussed every aspect of her pregnancy (stretch marks, Braxton Hicks - everything) with the kids sitting around her - male and female. I hope her boyfriend (who is in college for his second year) wants the same things she does. And I wonder if she lifts her attention from her naval long enough to see that they may be headed to different futures.
It is a matter of changing the culture - and I don't know how to.