One of the great things about being a teacher is you get to know your students really well. One of the hardest things about being a teacher is you get to know your students really well…
Every year I have a student (or two), that I wish I could just take home with me. She is like the other students, yet she is different. She comes to school and she works hard. She is polite to her peers and respectful to the adults around her. She shows excitement about being at school and always comes in with a smile on her face, which could put a smile on anyone’s face.
Sometimes she will come in with a breakfast tray and eat at her group table while her peers are unpacking and getting ready for the day. She picks at her food and tells me when she is all done. Some days she will eat what is on her tray and other days she is much more picky. However, it is better than the alternative, which is having no breakfast at all.
At the beginning of the year she was living in the homeless shelter. Coming to school with the bare minimum. I set her up with a food bag program at our school where she gets to take a bag of non-perishable items home once a week. October came around and I sent home forms to chat with her dad and step-mom about how she is doing. My understanding is that she doesn’t have connections with her real mom who lives in the next town over. Ouch.
Dad was a no-show for conferences. In fact, the step-mom called to talk to me instead. Fast forward to this week, conference week, and her dad was another no-show. He was the only one in my class of 20 who did not sign up for a conference time. I was heart-broken. How could someone not pay more attention to the success this child is having in school and how far she has come since the beginning of the year. I wanted to share this news with someone. Mostly her father.
When we have pajama day she will come to school in her jeans and a t-shirt and say, “Mrs. Mattice, I have my pajama’s on”.
“You do, hunny?”
“Yea, I slept in these last night.”
While I pick the pieces of my heart off the floor I say, “those are the best pajamas I have seen! I wish I had some like that.” And at the end of the day I have to send her on the bus to go “home”, wherever that may be now. Really, all I want to do is bring her home and love her like one of my own. ❤