martes, septiembre 20, 2005


bleeding hearts

now listening to "Goddess on a Highway" by Mercury Rev: "and i know it ain't gonna last..."

sometimes teaching breaks your heart.

we've all heard stories about the kids without shoes and clothes. kids whose only meal is the cafeteria lunch. kids who become latchkey at 6, 7, 8 years old. kids whose parents can't/won't read to them.

these things i can deal with. there are obvious ways to help these kids. but what do you do about the children whose parents are in the middle of a bitter yet unofficial (nothing legal yet) custody battle and you have to watch your student scream and shriek because she doesn't want to choose between her parents after school? what do you do about the child who is repeating another grade because her parents don't make her go to school (and when she is in school, she has lice and must be sent home) and has now developed a lisp --in addition to all her other academic problems-- because all of her teeth have rotted out? what do you do about the child who is trying his damnedest every day to work at grade level despite having been identified and tested as having at least a couple learning disabilities, but whose mother refuses to have him change schools in order to receive special services because his siblings attend the same school and it would make things too difficult? what do you do about the factors that are completely beyond your control and realm of influence?

these days, i just try not to cry. and i've been a little extra generous with the hugs and attention. too bad that's not enough.

p.s. i know about the community outreach and in-school counseling opportunities available. i and my peers have made the necessary recommendations, filed the paperwork, sat in meetings, voiced our concerns. but the fact remains that these kids are only ours for about 7 hours a day. turns out, that doesn't count for much.

That's terrible to hear. Especially the girl with rotting teeth. Is there anyway you can contact a dentist and try to convince him/her to see the girl pro bono? They don't have to know it's from you, just get the dentist to call and say they're offering free checkups for the next week. Probably wishful thinking, but it might work. Dentists are human, too.

The custody battle. Maybe offer a third alternative for the kid (after-school something or, club, etc)?

The almost-grade leveler. You know you can't force parents to do anything, but there might be something, like finding a tutor.

I know these all sound way above and beyond your duties, but if your heart is aching, just trying to help the situation may alleviate that feeling.

Your students are lucky they have you for those 7 hours.
as teachers, we can only do so much...
i, too, wish we could do more.
they should give us a magic wand along with our teaching credential!

take care!
that sucks...If only there were more caring teaching like you that actually cared. I wonder if all these issues that kids face are also the teachers fault.
It's not always an easy job. It's sad that school is probably the safest,least threatening and most consistent environment for those children. They're lucky to have you on their side. Good luck!
You do the best you can during the time you have them. And say, at least they have 35 hours of quality time with someone who loves them.

And you curse NCLB up one side and down the other. Just how are we, in 35 hours a week supposed to undo the damage / neglect done to the kids during the other 133 hours.
Wow. I admire teachers not just 'cause you wake up early, but because you really have a difficult job.
Everyone has a favorite teacher they remember for one reason or another. It looks like you are going to be on that list for alot of these kids. I admire your dedication and your sincerity. You must know that even for 7 hours a day, you are making some kind of difference in their lives.
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