As an educator, myself, I realize the shock that can occur as we encounter our new students these first few days. Some will be docile and seemingly distant; others may appear to climb the walls when you're not looking; then there are the ones who put a jolt of terror into your being as they seem bent on destruction. While we acclimate, let us consider:
One may be hungry, possibly waiting several weeks for school to start just so he can eat...
or exhausted.. unable to rest due to a fear he just can't verbalize..
unsure how to cope with events outside of his control
building a wall around himself to keep out the hurt.. or pain.. or devastation.
There may be one hungry for attention but not sure the best way to get it..
one longing for acceptance and as of yet finding none..
one falling through the cracks.. sure everyone has given up on him so why shouldn't he..
one who feels her only worth is in her looks.. though she fears she lacks that as well..
one who just feels alone.
As teachers we have a heavy load as well; work, home, family, maybe our own educational endeavors. This generally keeps us unaware of the things our students arrive at school having faced already that day. Our agenda pulls at us blinding us from their need; paperwork bogs our every moment so that even when we see it we feel powerless to dig deeper.
In my classroom and now as I travel to various campus classrooms my heart aches for the faces I see. Many know situations I will never experience and face challenges I didn't realize existed. They are in my prayers and a part of my soul. My desire, as I encounter each one, is to bring a spark of encouragement to their day; to be a relief from their troubles and a friend no matter what.
As we return to class, please take the time to consider the source of a child's actions.. pray for them.. and do your best to be there for them despite the to-do list.