I mentioned this summer that I had a tough roster this year at school. Tough, for a lot of reasons, but the main reason is the needs of the students. I have a wide range of abilities both academic and economic. The kids I work with are both emotionally stable and emotionally needy. I suppose everyone that teaches can say that about their room. Since school has started these are real live things that my students have experienced:
living in foster care because their home was not safe
mom being beaten by dad
family members going to jail due to possesion of illegal drugs
the list goes on ...
I had a student say to me, I don't want to go home, I like it here. Mrs. C you don't want to know what happened to me this weekend...(with a horrible story), I have a burn on my leg because I let my friend set me on fire, I want my dad to love me, the water was shut off again, and the list keeps going.
I want to just love on these babies. I want them to know what it is like to have parents who are interested in them instead of just themselves. I want them to know what it is like to have enough money to pay for the necessities so they don't have to want for the water to come out of their faucet when they turn it on. I want them to know that they really can do anything they put their mind to if they work hard. I want them to feel loved, warm and safe.
Now, not all my students are facing these daily battles, some are loved and cherished. The difference in their behavior is remarkable. So this tough year is just breaking downs the walls the children put up to protect themselves over the summer. To remember they will be loved and taken care of, at least for 6 hours of their 24 hour day. That someone will notice what they are good at, even if I really have to reach for something.
I talked to Kyle about maybe fostering kids in the future. I could take some of these kids or kids like them and just show them what they need most: Love.