- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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).