Leah & D: From Girls to Queens

Kwon was polite enough to hold the door open for the girls as they walked out of my classroom and headed to their lockers. Before the whole class was able to exit the room, I heard one of my 8th grade boys yelling but I couldn't understand what he was saying. The girls rushed back into my room in a chaotic haste to tell me that one of the members of my Crew was unabashedly arguing in the hall. She entered my room shortly after I heard the news and dismally sat with her friends. 

“What’s the matter babygirl?” I walked over and asked her, hoping I could do something to help. She had already been having a rough week with her family issues, I didn't want her to have to deal with drama in school too. 

“Nothing…”, Leah answered. I knew she wasn't being very honest and even though I really wanted to help, I left her alone. She's the type of student who perfers to reflect independently before talking about things that are bothering her. 

"Okay, well I'm here when you're ready. For now, you should take out your journal and write about whatever is making you lose your pretty smile." 

As I walked back to my reading chair, I looked around the room and smiled at the work that the rest of my girls were doing, despite the distractions that were occurring while they were working. I was gleaming with pride, until I realized, Di’Ann was missing from the rest of the group.

“Where is Di’Ann? Have you seen her girls?”

“She’s in the hall Ms. Clay. She’s right outside of the room.” Ria pointed her long orange nails toward the wooden doors.

“Di’Ann!!!”, I yelled for her to come inside.

“She said she doesn’t want to come in right now.” Mazey was speaking for her crew-sister in the most sincere way. She didn’t want Di’Ann to get into trouble for being outside of the classroom. Di'ann has a history of being a hall-wanderer but this wasn't one of those times. 

“Why? What’s wrong? Is she upset with someone in here?” Before I asked another question, Leah yelled, “Me!”

“She’s angry with me Ms. Clay." 

“Well. You two can fix this. Remember how you both got through steering that canoe for all those miles together! Whatever the issue is, I guarantee you that you can overcome it because of the strength you showed each other out there on the Potomac.”

Leah started to smiled at the thought of being on the canoe with Di'Ann about a month ago. I was sure she was going to go outside and talk to Di’Ann but instead, she sat down in her seat and said, “She ain’t the type of person you can talk things out with! She wants to involve violence and I am not down with that. I’ll think about talking to her but I can’t do it right now.”

“Well, I won’t pressure you. Just know, I expect the two of you to work this out.”

Twenty minutes must have passed when I realized that Leah was not in class. I was so caught up with conferencing with the girls about choosing the high school that fits them best that I didn’t even notice the two girls were in the hall, calmly talking about their issues.

A few minutes after that, I called the girls to the carpet to debrief our day. When I looked over at Leah and Di'Ann, they were sitting right next to one another, laughing about any and everything, as if nothing had ever happened. 

"Y'all good now?" It was apparent but I just wanted to make sure. 

"Yes.. Everything is good." They both were still laughing about a silly joke Ria told us when they answered me. 

***                                        

To witness the growth of these two young ladies, who both have a hard time controlling their tempers, talking their problems out - like true queens - on their own... I must say, was beautiful !! It was such a proud moment for me as their Crew leader and teacher. I was also impressed by the fact that the other girls in my Crew did not try to instigate or provoke Leah and Di'-Ann into fighting and making it a bigger issue. 

Man, my 8th grade girls are growing. I can't wait until Blossoms starts next week! They are so ready for what Carissa and I have in store for them this year. I just know it! 

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