Thursday, May 5, 2011

When being there doesn't seem like enough

It happened again.
Tears, face buried into my side.
Hugs, while the other students passed by her as I greeted them in for the day.

Once they were all inside, I knelt down to J.
"Tell me." I said, looking into her tear stained eyes.

"My mom.
Not coming back.
Bought a house.
Moved in with some guy."
That is all she could muster before losing it.

I did what I could.
I hugged her tight and told her I would be there.
I would be there to listen.
I would be there to hug.
I would be there.

She pulled her face out of my blouse.
Looking up at me, she weakly squeaked out, "Okay." as she forced a half curved smile.

Now... to put out of my mind who will be there for her when these 15 and a half school days are over.


  1. When I hear stories like this from my students I just feel empty. I have a couple students in my room and afer hearing things my heart breaks. Your students are so lucky to have you in their corner.

  2. you are the kind of teacher that makes all the difference. thanks for that.

  3. I know. We had a student get murdered by a student from another school in our district last week. Some kids found his body on Easter morning while playing at the neighborhood elementary school playground. I teach many of his friends, and it was all I could do to keep from crying for them all. They mourn in interesting ways when they're high school students, too. Anger seems to be first, and then frustration and then disbelief. Almost opposite of what I'd expect.

    I know we're supposed to keep a professional distance, but sometimes it's difficult NOT to hand them my phone number so they have someone to talk to. I don't, but it is tempting.


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