23 Nov

I received a file, confidential. No name, no previous school, just a scrawled note with a number. Not knowing what I was calling, I dialled it. A homeless women’s shelter. I didn’t quite know what to say to the lady on the other end.
‘erm, I have just received a file, a new student but I don’t have a name, can you help at all, or do I have the wrong number?’
‘oh, hello, you must be calling about Belinda. You had better tell me where you are and we’ll come round and see you.’
Belinda walked into the room, smiling, cheerful, radiant. She was a tall slim beautiful long blonde haired girl, extremely friendly, yet shy. She sat awkwardly on the chair, facing the corner of the room, periodically looking at the floor. The two things didn’t quite seem to go together. The lady she was with explained that I was not allowed to record anything she was about to say, for Belinda’s safety. The police were involved, and she had a protected identity now. I wasn’t even told her real name.
I could only imagine the horror this poor beautiful smiling girl had endured to be sitting in front of me now. To this day I do not know the extent of story. All that needs to be said is Belinda was a brave young woman who fled to save her own life.
She explained how she thought it was cool that she got to choose her own name, got to see all these new things, meet new people, amazingly positive for someone who had obviously endured much already in her relatively short life.
She found the school placement a struggle. There were so many things that we took for granted. ‘What were playing cards?’ She asked. Why are they staring at me like that? So many questions, so many social rules she didn’t understand.
I lost track of Belinda, after she was moved again, however I understand she now has her own flat, took her GCSE’s and did well, and even has a boyfriend. I understand that is a BIG deal for Belinda.
It’s amazing how someone so young can touch your heart in such a deep way. It was only a fleeting encounter, but I really do hope she is doing well. My gosh, she deserves some luck in her life from what I can gather. I often think about her and wonder how she’s getting on. That’s teaching I guess.

2 Responses to “Anon”

  1. Chocotabulous November 23, 2010 at 20:52 #

    It's amazing how some people that you meet you never forget! Every now and then you find yourself wondering how they areIt is amazing how people can touch your heart.

  2. nuuutymel November 23, 2010 at 21:39 #

    So very true. Thats what makes Special needs teaching so 'special' i think.

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