Matilda is a story about a gifted child who is adopted by her loving teacher because her family is unable to cater to her appropriately.
While Matilda is broadly fiction, there is a real-life story where a teacher has adopted her student to provide care for him. However, in this case, the child was her most ‘troublesome’ student!
Chelsea Haley is a 26-year-old dedicated teacher who works for the Teach For America foundation.
Teach For America is an institution that works towards providing educational equity and excellence to children who belong to underprivileged households.
She has recently adopted her 12-year-old student named Jerome Robinson and his little brother, Jace, who was one and a half years old.
She revealed that the experience was extremely rewarding. While talking to CNN about it she said, “I wouldn’t trade this for anything.”
She further added, “At certain points, his behavior got so bad, I thought, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be a teacher.’”
Jerome was a very difficult student to deal with. He was penalized several times for his misconduct and misbehavior.
Chelsea met Jerome when he was in class 4 and was struggling with this studies.
She also told CNN, “He used to fail all of his classes and didn’t care…”
The rowdy adolescent almost made Chelsea quit her job and switch to another career. Even though he was the most troubling student in her class, she and he managed to develop a close bond of understanding.
Jerome’s other instructors would also seek help from Chelsea when they were unable to handle the rebellious little 12-year-old.
Jerome and Jace belong to a poor home and lived with his grandparents and widowed mother.
The family was going through a really difficult time because the brothers had lost their father and another loved one.
Haley said, “It was really hard on her after she lost her husband. It was just a combination of tragedy coupled with the other social situations you face when you live in poverty. The boys [Jerome and Jace] spent a lot of time living with their grandparents.”
Even though their mother cares for them she was unable to give them the right kind of love and attention.
Haley had also lost a daughter in the past. She revealed that she had a dream where she saw a sign telling her she should mother the troubled child.
The next day, strangely, Jerome while taking a test; looked at her and asked her if he could live with her in her house.
Chelsea was granted permission by their mother and she took the boys in.
According to her plans, she moved to Georgia with the boys and recalls the day she took them in. “He just asked me if he could live with me. I told him I had been feeling the same.”
The boys have been doing very well and prospering since Chelsea became their guardian. Jerome has improved his grades and behavior with no suspensions since he moved with his new mother.
Chelsea stated, “Now, he’s made honor roll both quarters of his eighth-grade year so far.”
The young boy now aspires to go to a good college in the future!