Jerome Robinson, a fourth-grader, became the reason for the trouble in his young teacher’s career “At times, his conduct was so severe that I felt, ‘I can’t do this anymore,'” Chelsea Haley said. I’m not cut out to be a teacher.'” Haley became a member of Teach for America in order to make a difference in a low-income school.
She had not expected to meet a gruff boy like Jerome. She had no intention of adopting him and his younger sibling. “I never saw myself as a single mother at the age of 24, much alone of two boys, one of whom was my 12-year-old pupil. And the other, who was just a year and a half old.”
A strange relationship formed between a teacher and a pupil
Haley was the chairwoman of the University of Georgia’s College Republicans. She attended in on education policy sessions while working on Capitol Hill and then joined Teach For America after college. That’s how she landed herself in a Baton Rouge primary school, struggling to manage Jerome Robinson while also gaining his trust.
Other instructors would send the youngster to Haley’s class, where she would make him do his work. “I had a lot of thank you emails and knocks on the door,” she added.
At the time, Jerome was living with his birth mother. “It was quite difficult for her after she lost her spouse,” Haley remarked. A younger sibling also d-ied. “It was basically a mix of so-rrow and the various social problems that come with living in poverty.” The youngster and his baby brother Jace were always on the go. “They lived with their grandparents for a long period.”
A daring request comes from the birth mother
By 2015, Haley had completed her two-year Teach For America commitment, but she sensed a tug back as if her job wasn’t quite done. The school principal advised Haley to stay “for Jerome.” She did, agreeing to work as a special education teacher for a third year. One night in October, Haley had a dream in which God told her she was meant to be Jerome’s mother. She laughed aloud, finding the thought absurd, and went back to sleep. But the next day at school, when Jerome sat alone with her completing a test, the instructor was filled with profound, serene emotion.
“All he did was ask if he could live with me,” Haley recounted. “I told him I was feeling the same way.” Haley went to dine with Jerome, Jace, and their mother the next day. Haley made clear that she was approaching the end of her third year at the institution and that she intended to return to Georgia. “You can go back,” Haley was told by the boys’ mother. “However, I’d like you to take Jerome and Jace with you.”
Forming a Family
In December, Haley filed documents for permanent custody of Jerome. She later filed paperwork to adopt Jace as well. “To get custody of someone, you have to be 12 years older than them, and I am 12 years and three months older than them.” Haley drew money from her retirement account to put down on a house where her two sons could enjoy a secure existence.
She is currently a 26-year-old middle school teacher in Marietta, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb.
The boys are doing absolutely well. Chelsea Haley is now a mother and a teacher, and she is doing well in both roles. “I’ve always wanted to be a mommy,” Haley remarked, “and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything.”