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What’s your story?

Another veteran teacher and I were talking the other day about some of our students. I was asking her about a student I teach. She said something interesting about the kids we teach, “They all have stories”.

How true! I learned this teaching in a rural distract. Kids came to my room with stories that seriously affected their education. “I’ve never been to the dentist.” “I’ve been sexually molested as an infant (imagine the horrors) and have had 2 adoptive mothers die.” “It’s cold in my house”, spoken after the gas was shut off for non-payment in April (still a cold month in Wisconsin).

Here it’s more of the same. I’ve had 5 different students who have witnessed their mother being killed by their dad or mom’s boyfriend.
“My mom’s in prison”, “Someone shot 30 bullets into our house last night”, “I’ve got an armed robbery charge pending”.

Wednesday a young lady came into my classroom and said “look at this bruise. I’m afraid my boyfriend is going to kill me.”

As a professional I’ve got to figure out ways to still educate these precious children. The state tests that they need to pass to graduate don’t care one lick about their stories. In so many ways the world doesn’t care either. When their schooling is done, hopefully before they get discouraged and drop out, the people in personnel offices aren’t looking for people with “stories” either.

Many people with similar stories have overcome them to become productive adults. Helping these kids add that to their story is the challenge society, not just teachers, needs to embrace.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

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  1. September 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Do you have any opportunity to introduce the kids to proper counseling? Would you be allowed to get involved that way? I’m think there would always be a concern on your part as too how involved you could comfortably get in students’ lives outside the classroom. I don’t envy your situation.

    • September 11, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      Resources are so short, they just let go one of our two guidance counselors. I would guess the large majority of our kids have “stories” that make their lives very tough.

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