Not all kids like hearing the last bell of the day.
Not all kids have food in the pantry when they go home from school.
Not all kids are safe in their homes.
Not all kids know where they will sleep that night.
We don’t like to talk about the lives of kids who come from the other “New Zealand.”
I teach in what is considered, by government measurements, to be a wealthy area. However there are kids in my class I worry about when I send them home at the end of the day. They are the ones I give a few dollars to for a sausage at sausage sizzle and the ones who often arrive very early at school and hang around the ground after the bell goes.
One child, who arrived in my class this year, already viewed school as a negative place, somewhere to run away from at 11 years old.
Violence at home and meant that normal school confrontations over who gets to go first in PE or who gets sits where on the bench at lunch were solved with fists, not talking.
It’s been a term but slowly we’ve been making progress.
I’m lucky that my older boys, although boisterous, aren’t violent at all. In fact those boys were on a secret mission to teach the student to not immediately to lash out confrontations. I’m also very lucky that I have another student in class who has a shared obsession with engines and has access to tools and a small piece of machinery.
This Friday as part of passion project hour this student had the time of his life taking apart a weed blower engine out the back of my classroom. The goal of this endeavour being to put it back together again once they are done and hopefully write an iBook on how engines work. Yes I want this student to do well academically but the broader goal is to keep this student engaged and, dare I say it, enjoying school before we can work on all that over stuff.
But I can’t help but worry next week is the final week of school.
And not all kids look forward to the holidays.
And quite often those are the kids that we always remember, or (if in a Yr1-8 school like me) keep worrying about long after they have left our classrooms.
I was one of those kids Steph and the inspiration and care I received at school (from a small handful of genuine educators/mentors) was pretty much the only thing that kept me wanting to live and learn…keep up the great work!
Love your blog!
I have nominated you for the Liebster blog award. Your blog is great and I’m sure more and more people will enjoy it.
It is am awesome relief to me that their are caring young teachers who go out of their way to make students lives a bit more bearable. I taught low decile students for 12 years before i decided my own kids needed more of me than they were getting. I still worry about the now young adults I used to teach. Even knowing they have a caring class to come back to in term 2 can make a difference. The kids I taught used to bomb out at intermediate because of the impersonal nature of thier school. keep up the good work and keep caring Steph.