Teacher Almost Quits Over Unruly Student, Then His Mom Makes Bold Request.
Being a teacher is one of the toughest jobs out there, and it’s not surprising that some educators throw in the towel after encountering a particularly unruly child.
For fourth-grade teacher Chelsea Haley, the student who constantly got under her skin was Jerome Robinson. Chelsea joined Teach For America in 2013 so that she could make a difference for low-income students in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jerome’s constant troublemaking and bad attitude became such a source of stress for her that she almost quit teaching altogether. Chelsea said, “At certain points, his behavior got so bad, I thought, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be a teacher.'”
And then, suddenly, something in their relationship shifted.
Somehow, Chelsea managed to get through to Jerome in a way that no other teacher had been able to do. Others would even send him to her classroom when they got fed up with his antics. “I got a lot of thankful emails and knocks on my door,” she said.
As Chelsea got to know Jerome better, she found out that his poor behavior and grades were a result of a tumultuous home life. He lived with his mother and grandparents, and the family had recently suffered the death of Jerome’s father and little sister, leaving them in pieces.
“It was really hard on [Jerome’s mother] after she lost her husband,” Chelsea explained. “It was just a combination of tragedy coupled with the other social situations you face when you live in poverty.”
Jerome and his newborn brother Jace were shuffled from one house to another, spending a lot of time living with their grandparents. Chelsea grew closer to Jerome throughout the school year, and when her contract was up, she agreed to stay on for one more year just so that she could stay with Jerome.
One night soon after, Chelsea had a dream in which God spoke to her, asking her to be Jerome’s mother. She laughed the dream off, thinking it was absurd, but the next day as she watched him doing work in her room, a feeling of peace descended over her. Suddenly Jerome looked up from his work and asked if he could come live with her.
“I told him I had been feeling the same thing.”
Chelsea asked Jerome’s mother to meet her for dinner, and she explained that she’d be finishing her third year at the school in the spring, and hoped to return to her home state of Georgia. Without missing a beat, Jerome’s mother said, “You can go back, but I want you to take Jerome and Jace with you.”
Now convinced that she’d been handpicked to mother these children, Chelsea made the decision to adopt Jerome and Jace. “I never thought I’d be a single mom at age 24, especially of two boys, one of which was my 12-year-old student. And the other one who was only a year-and-a-half,” she said.
“I always knew I wanted to be a mom,” Chelsea said, “and I wouldn’t trade this for anything.”
The family now lives in Marietta, Georgia, where both boys are thriving. Jerome no longer gets in trouble at school and he’s made the honor roll — twice! Like any proud mom, Chelsea shares his success on :
Being a single mom is not easy, especially on a young teacher’s salary. When Chelsea realized she couldn’t pay for Jace’s preschool, she knew it was time to reach out to the world and ask for a little help. She has now started a GoFundMe campaign to help out with some of the family’s expenses.
“When God told me I would be Jerome’s mom, He also told me, “It was going to be okay. You need to trust Me,” she said. “I have held on to those words of Hope for over two years and promised to be faithful, even when it hurt.”
It just goes to show you — you’re not always born into the family you need; sometimes you find them along the way. Please share Chelsea’s story to spread the love.
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