One of my students in recent years told me about how she is living in transitional housing at a nearby church. I asked her if she liked it and she simply answered “Yes.” As she thought about it, it was nice for her to have other children around, a video game system she could play, and a bag lunch to bring to school. She ate better that day than she ever has before. It was interesting to think how much care and love was put into the little details, even in packing a lunch for her.
A few days before, she shared with the class that she has four sisters and all of them have a different dad, and two of her sisters have a different mom than hers. Before I worked with kids from homes like hers, I always want to work with kids like this. She really has nothing but her family and the clothes on her back. When I walk into work each day, I try to remember that in the midst of all the stressors of teaching, I am walking into a place that needs people like me. I don’t think there is any more rewarding career than to empower children like her to make it through the day. I wish I could do more, but working hard to make sure that she can read, write, learn to work on a team, and know her math, will help her get very far in life.
This brings me to you. If you are not a teacher, is there a teacher in your life that could use some encouragement today? Now by encouragement, I don’t mean gifts or kind words. I mean is there a tangible way that you could show up for that teacher? Please consider it today and follow through. The little things that you do for a teacher impacts the children in your community, especially those that sleep in churches at night.
Send in used books for their classroom library.
Offer to come and read to their class.
Pay for a student’s field trip.
Bring in some playground equipment, basketballs, soccer balls, etc…