Half a Cup of Blues

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The First Week...

I finished the first week at the new school and I was about the most exhausted that I have been in a very long time!

These young boys bounce off of the walls like squirrels on crack!

The week culminated with Yibbyl following me to work early on Friday morning so he can measure the closet in my office for shelves. School doesn't start until 8:30 but at 7:45am a little boy stumbles into the classroom wearing only flip flops, swimming trunks, and a towel. I ask what he's doing here so early and he tells me that he slept outside all night and could not get dressed for school because his mom was hitting him. He was hungry. He was tired. He was half-dressed. And he came to school because it was the safest place he knew.

I get a t-shirt for him and give him a hug as the principal comes in to see what's going on. Mr. G takes him to his office where they can fill out the paperwork (CPS) and call mom to bring us his clothes, food, and medications.

During all of this Yibbyl was right inside of the office in my classroom and I can only guess at what he was thinking. This is the world of working with severely emotionally disturbed kids. They are a package deal with their families and all of the baggage that comes with that. And, as a teacher, you can never, ever condemn the family. In most cases, they, too, are doing the best that they can. You can only provide a safe place, give lots of love and support, and make reports when you hear and see things that you know are not right. And even then you usually only have a small piece of the whole story. Family dynamics are often quite complex.

This is already looking like it is going to be a very interesting year.

Today's Plan: Relax and enjoy my own family.

5 Comments:

  • Wow. Just wow.

    By Anonymous Alison, at 8/25/2007 9:04 PM  

  • OK. I was thinking "I absolutely should not be hearing this. Not only because it was a sucky situation, but because it was not any of my business." Then I started thinking about how today's kids totally know how to work the system and phrase things in such a way as to get mommy & daddy in trouble. I wondered if he was hit because he was being punished or if he was hit simply because his mom overreacted & made a poor decision. Lastly, I was impressed with how calm and caring you were during this child's crisis. You were really amazing and once again showed an uncanny ability to do the right thing when many if not most people would have struggled in one way or another.

    By Blogger Yibbyl, at 8/26/2007 11:11 PM  

  • I just wanted to hug the child.

    And you.

    Bless you for your caring and wisdom.

    By Blogger Beanie, at 8/27/2007 7:17 AM  

  • The same kid showed up this morning. He was filthy from sleeping under a truck all night. He was hungry. And he was unmedicated. Again.

    And the progress that had been made last week with the other boys was completely forgotten over the weekend. They were all fairly feral today.

    This may be a long year but I'm hanging in there!

    By Blogger Michelle, at 8/27/2007 8:43 PM  

  • Michelle, you rock. Bless you for the light you bring to these kids' lives...

    By Anonymous Dave in England, at 8/29/2007 3:57 PM  

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