Friday, June 15, 2007

Nothing to do with sewing, but...

I am teaching summer school for the month of June. Yesterday we made Father's Day cards. You know you're always going to have one or two children who do not have a father so I always give the disclaimer that they can make a card for a grandparent, uncle, or even their mom. Well, yesterday "Johnny" raises his hand and says, "I don't have a mother or a father," (we get no personal information on our summer school kids, or I would have known this) so I say "OK, sweetie, we'll talk after I finish giving directions." In a moment, I go over to his desk and ask if he has any grandparents. "No" Other family? "no" Who do you live with, Johnny? "I live in the group home" I just wanted to cry.

We have a new group home in our town for kids that are about 8-12 years old. These are children who have been in foster homes and kicked out. Apparently this boy has some anger issues - gee, ya think!?????? but he has never been a problem in my class. He is trying and doing his work. He is polite and offers to help. He is proud of himself when he does something right. He is ten years old.

I tell little "johnny" that he can make any kind of card for anyone he would like; a teacher, friend, his group home leader. He tells me he is going to make the card for Mrs. Gates, my ss aide. Mrs. Gates also does bus duty in the morning at our school during the regular school year. She yells at kids who are acting out of line. They deserve it. She has a big heart. Johnny is proud of the card he made for Mrs. Gates. He brings it to me a couple of times to help him with spelling. In side he writes, "Mrs. Gates, Thank you for waving to me in the morning."

Another boy brings me his card. In it he has written, "Dear Dad, This is your son. I miss you. I know you are saving us. I hope you will come home one day. I will never forget you. I hope you will remember me." His father is in Iraq.

Teaching is hard.

8 comments:

Sigrid said...

Nancy, you bring tears in my eyes with this story. Hard times for little ones to grow up, certainly when there is no family as back up. Hope the boy with "anger problems" gets a chance to build his future. It sounds your summerschool is adding to this.

Anonymous said...

The saying goes--to teach is to touch a life forever. I'm sure you have touched the life of Johnny.Teaching is the hardest work! Bless you for doing it and caring!

Maureen

cidell said...

Nancy, I teared up. Thank you for sharing these stories.

Bonnie D. said...

Heart wrenching. You are one of the special people who touch many people. I bet this little boy will remember you for a long time. Ten years old. Heart wrenching.

Maureen said...

My goodness Nancy...what a sweet, sad, touching day for you...both these boys will be in my prayers...thanks for sharing.

Enid said...

Nancy,
Life is so sad and hard sometimes.
For these children, there is hope that what you share with them, they will remember and apply to their lives.
I am so thankful for you and all teachers who have such tender hearts and care for all children...
God Bless you!
Enid

Anonymous said...

Nancy, none of us really know about the very hard lives some children live, but with teachers like yourself there is hope for them. Thanks for inserting your own feelings and caring into this young boys' life. I'm sure it must be hard to see and care for tragic lives but you have evidently brightened up his! Thanks for caring!

Elaray said...

I'm at the end of a very difficult school year and your post has restored my hope. We come in contact with so many children whose needs we can't meet. God bless you and especially Johnny and his classmate.