Sometimes Teaching is Sad

What she wore: beige high-waisted gauchos, lime green tee with cap sleeves and a scoop neck, lime green strappy shoes with a three-inch heel.  The kids love the shoes and so did one of my co-workers.


Teaching can be really awesome, but it’s also really sad.  Here are a few examples:
 
  1. What started this whole blog: one of my kids nearly passed out in school the other day.  When she got to the hospital, he diagnosed low levels of potassium and iron.  The doctor suspected an eating disorder.  I think this doctor must be pretty naive.  Chances are, my student is sustaining herself on sub-standard nutrition and that’s the cause of her poor vitamin levels. 
  2. Earlier in the year, we had a student who kept falling asleep in class.  When questioned, he admitted that he hadn’t been sleeping at night.  The reason?  He was too cold.  His family could only afford to run the heater for one hour each night.   He would stay up shivering all night and then fall asleep in the warm classroom.  We encouraged him to sleep with his clothes on and that really helped. 
  3. My boy, Charlie, who I chronicled earlier, was forced to move out of his house because he couldn’t live with his mother’s drinking any more.  Better than living with mom?  An unfurnished house with bad wiring that was across the street from a crack house.
  4. One of our students recently won a $50 gift certificate to Walmart as part of the standardized test incentives.  What did he buy?  Socks and underwear.  Why?  Because he needed it badly.
  5. One of our most popular students spent the winter coming to school wearing two and three collared shirts.  He said it was a fashion statement, but us teachers are pretty sure he couldn’t afford the clothes he needed to keep himself warm.  Now, some of our more affluent kids will show up wearing multiple shirts.
  6. Our principal provides an endless stream of sweatshirts, pants, collared shirts, and undershirts to kids who come to school dirty.

This list could probably go on forever, but I stop it right there.  My friends always ask, "how do you do it?"  The answer is simple, "don’t let it affect how you treat them."  Our kids MUST learn to overcome and pity won’t help them with that.  We teach them, guide them to services where available, and pray.  That’s really all we can do.

 

Be thankful for all that you have.

 

KM

 

I forgot: Mr. K has read the blog and is horrified by all the talk about his tush.  Rest assured, there will be no description of it here.  If you want to know about the hub’s tush. . .I’ll post a picture (clothed, of course).

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About takedeux

In one summer I had a baby who was hospitalized for five weeks, quit my job, and moved back to my hometown. This blog is about starting over.
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23 Responses to Sometimes Teaching is Sad

  1. tassietoo says:

    Aaah yes!  The arms do it for me too! 😉

  2. Unknown says:

    The world obviously needs more teachers like you!

  3. CJ says:

    Thanks for popping in….enjoy visiting your space too.  Ciao!

  4. Karen says:

    That\’s too true… I\’ve known people whose lives were shaped by pity & it really is no favor to pity a person.  We all have our hardships to bear.  We\’d be a sorry bunch if we never had to endure anything painful or difficult, I think. 
     
    Less than two weeks to go ~ I\’m so excited for you 🙂

  5. Betty says:

    Hi KM,
     
    A wise woman once told me that a human being needs only three things to live a happy life.  We need, \’something to believe in, something to love and worthwhile work to do!\’  As difficult as it sometimes is to do that "worthwhile work" it is part of what life is all about.  I, for one, am glad that you do what you do.  Thank you!
    Betty

  6. K says:

    Where I grew up … the school board made sure each student was given milk each and every day because many were dirt poor.  Teachers and school staff would pool together and bring food… such as PB&J for students to have something to eat at lunch… apples and occasional treats.  There were clothe drives where kids could pretty much just take what they could for the season…
     
    We lived in a small community – and I never knew it but our family was pretty dirt poor.  I may not have had a lot but I had more than many… and reading your list… I had plenty.  I hear of this in our schools too… but there are many lunch programs etc… clothing programs etc… and book programs for students from low income areas.
     
    But if it wasn\’t for teachers like you… who never made us feel less than others because of our social status…. perhaps I would have quite school and never been motivated to be more than what I was.  It is teachers like you that helped me not be a victime of circumstances… forever changing the outcome.  So thank you.  And don\’t ever stop.  This is your gift.  Continue to use it wisely.
     
    Ciao bella,
    KC

  7. Sue says:

    They sound so resourceful.  You are right about the pity.  They need to be taught and guided.  So many, I found personally, expect it to be given to them as if it is owed to them because of their \’lot\’ in life (these are people in their 20\’s that still live in inner city or lower income area).  I get furious with them and tell them so.  Some take my advice and actually get a job and improving their life, while others are just afraid of me. LOL.  Obviously, these are people are already grown, so we need start young.  Go get\’em Katy.
     
    : )  Sue

  8. Renee says:

    Poor Mr.K!!!
    I would love to see a pic of your hubby…but not to check out his bootay..I am just nosey! I know you can hardly wait for him to come home! Do you have any idea when??? When my son came home it was really emotional! And the whole room smelled of insense…they actually brought the smell of the middle east back with them! 
     
    renee 
     
     

  9. Renee says:

    Oh yeah …about the kids at school…I don\’t think I could do what you do because it would break my heart…I would just be wanting to take them all home with me! We are pretty much broke all the time but my kids always have what they need …I wish they could appreciate it more…they don\’t realize how bad some folks have it…sometimes they make me feel guilty that I can\’t give them more…I wish they could trade places with one of these kids on a cold winter night!
     
    take care!
     
    renee

  10. Unknown says:

    Out of all the places we\’ve lived, the school system here has it together.  Every school day free breakfast is provided to any student.  And of course if you qualify for free or reduced lunches those are offered too.  So kids are fed at least 2 good meals a day.  During the summer several of our schools are open for free student lunches as well.  Adults can go too and pay $2.  So a huge effort has been made to keep these kids fed.  Stories like these just break my heart, but I agree they must be treated the same as everyone.  Great post!
     
    ~Ashlie

  11. wendy says:

    Katy, that is so sad. So often we take for granted all that we have been blessed with. I think that what you are choosing to do with your life is so awesome. Don\’t get discouraged. Sometimes we have a way of reaching people in ways that we will never fully understand. Keep doing what you are doing and know that if you only make a difference in even one persons life, you have atleast made a difference. That is a lot more than some can say for themselves.
    Hope the hub is doing well and keeping his spirits up, also.
     

  12. WINDOW LIVE says:

    Even though I live in an affluent county my particular small town had been until recently the lower income area of the county.  I have always made hefty donations of used and new clothing, food, school supplies you name it.  If I have $2 someone in need is going to get half. Many times I would have to tell a teacher who was giving a student (elementary school) a hard time for not having homework or falling asleep, a heads up on the home situation.  In this area they didn\’t always understand there was poverty and drug abuse and from my work in church I knew these families.  It was sad but the upside is that many of these kids have and are graduating HS and are doing well.  Bless you and your work.  I look forward to visiting your space every day.  It is very uplifting.

  13. Nadine says:

      That is sad about the kids. There are so many programs that help them get different things but the thing is for them to ask for help.
      My daughter was appalled that a small child had shoplifted notebook paper. I told her he probably needed it and the teacher could have been threatening him to get it or he would be a bad mark. "Remember the time you had to have a red pen and I could not find one?" She shook her head yes and understood. I think that it was unfair of her teacher to demand her to provide the teacher with a red pen….that is the school\’s place not mine!
      I don\’t think EVERY teacher has as firm a grasp on the situtation as you do.
     
     Have a great day!!

  14. Nadine says:

    And by the way……the Harlot comment…….Hey if the shoe fits!! And I wear it so stylishly!!

  15. lori says:

    you know, I don\’t remember half the kids I went to school with but I still remember most if not all of my teachers … some fondly, some not but regardless, those people made a huge impact on my life. 
    I\’m pretty sure you\’re going to be remembered fondly 🙂

  16. Cheryl says:

    My daughter averages one death a year in her classroom.  She also serves underserved children who are very disadvantaged.  It breaks our hearts…

  17. Karla says:

    KM- You really are an inspiration to the people around you (whether you know it or not); that (and of course never knowing what\’s going to come out of your mouth next) is why we love you so much. E is right; you earn your money the hard way. But it\’s encouraging to know that there are smart and dedicated people like you out there who actually care.- KE

  18. Darcy says:

    I\’m very proud of you for what you do!  I have never encountered anything like what you describe… we were never wealthy, but I remember everyone in my school having what they needed… You are an amazing woman for being able to reach past the trials of their lives and touch their hearts without pity.  Being condescended to would only make their situation worse, as wounded pride and a feeling of being less is no way to encourage growth and happiness!
    good job!
    D
    P.s.  A big woohoo on the hubby coming home soon… can\’t wait, I\’m so excited for you!  Is he home for good after this?
     

  19. Unknown says:

    I was thinking about you over mothers day…and the blog about you not having children…and what people think /comment on. I figured I would wish you a happy mothers day, all those darn kids that need a mother…you\’re very close to the only mother some of them have I\’m sure, so feel good…good blog vibes good blog vibes…BEEEERRRRRIIIIPPPP! (the noise good blog vibes make.)
     
    I love that some of the posh kids are wearing the multiple shirts, may be some sort of gratification that they may be a little uncomfortable…shhhh I feel guilty about that feeling…lol, don\’t comment about it. Pretend you giggled and then forgot about it.
     
    Mr K!!! Hehehe take a pic of it…Mr K I know you\’re reading this…show us your BUM!
     
    Take care girl…I\’ll blog soon…I\’ve been caught up in life!
    Mercy xo
     
     

  20. Alicia says:

    I LOVE those shoes!!
     
    I also wanted to say that you are an AMAZING  & strong woman…I don\’t know if I could deal with that.  I\’d be bawling all the time….makes me SOOO sad to read those things…kudos to you for being able to do your job and not get emotional about their situations.
     
    HUGS!!  🙂

  21. qi says:

    You are the one who I need to look up to. I do need to be grateful for what I have now and try to do better in teaching those lovely kids. YOu are wonderful .

  22. . says:

    Wow! That is really sad. It is just another example of how some people have so much and some so little. I see it here in TZ every day. Literally EVERY DAY. and what gets done about it? Nothing. Very sad.
     
    aak

  23. Mrsbrown2k1 says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes.  It\’s so sad that these kids have to live life like that.  I have a friend who is bad off financially and it breaks my heart to see her get by on only $600.00 on welfare.  I occationally buy things for her and kids.  It makes me feel great and appreciate all that I have.
     
    Bless you for doing what you do. 
     
    Tam in Texas

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