Musings

In Memory of Jaliya

Ask any teacher, and they’ll tell you that their job is hard. The pay is not great, you have long hours, you’re expected to bring work home, and you sometimes deal with kids (and adults) who are disrespectful and unappreciative.

That’s what most teachers would say.

I would say that the hardest thing about being a truly dedicated teacher is that you give a little piece of yourself to every child you teach. From the bright and happy “teacher’s pet” to the most challenging child that gets on your last nerve, you find something to love in all them and your heart goes wherever they go. It doesn’t matter how old they get, my students will always be “my kids”.

So you can’t begin to imagine my reaction when I got the most unthinkable news yesterday. I was told that one of my kindergarten students, who I taught only two years ago, had passed away.

At eight-years-old, Jaliya’s tiny life ended unexpectedly and much too soon.

A little piece of my heart shattered.

I won’t attempt to equate my grief to her family’s, but I am devastated. You never expect to receive this type of news and I am completely shocked and filled with sorrow.

Jaliya was one of my most gifted students. She had a very grown-up sense of humor and would leave me giggling with her quick wit and retorts. She was a talented dancer and always aimed to achieve my high expectations. I loved the way she asked questions because she truly sought to understand and I enjoyed celebrating all of her kindergarten accomplishments with her.

There is no way to prepare for the sudden loss of a child. Her family is raising money for her medical and memorial expenses here. If you are able to support them, either monetarily or through sharing the link, I emphatically urge you to contribute in any way that you can.

The piece of my heart that has broken will never be repaired, but I will find some comfort knowing that Jaliya’s family can honor her memory appropriately.

Please help however you can: Fundraiser for Jaliya

2 thoughts on “In Memory of Jaliya

  1. Words cannot truly express how sad and sorry I feel for this young loss. It’s tragic. I pray that her familia and friends receive God’s blessings of strength and embrace courage as they celebrate her young life. Tasheena, I know how she must have touched your life. I know she was touched by you. 💞

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