Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 02 2013

Rough Day.

Here are some stories my kids told me yesterday:

From my kid who has been sick for two days and got back yesterday. She kept complaining that her legs really hurt (which, as someone recovering from the same bug, I know is really painful) but stuck it out for a while. Then she started being finicky and difficult with her classmates so I pulled her into the hallway to talk to her about it, and she started sniffling and told me she just really didn’t feel good and they ran out of medicine at her house. It’s the end of the month and they don’t have any money. Then she burst into tears.

When I picked my kids up from specials, and walked in to see the specials teacher screaming at my kids. He toned it down because I was there, but it was clear he was yelling two seconds before. I sent my kids back to the room to do their multiplication drills and pulled the main subject of his disapproval aside. She is one of my basketball players, her brother was last year, and she is one of the hardest-working, sweetest kids. But her self-confidence is a little shaky and if she you maker her feel stupid she breaks down (much like her brother, come to think of it, only she’s more resilient than he is). She falls apart crying so hard tears are dripping onto the floor. Apparently she didn’t finish her work in specials because she couldn’t find her pair of scissors, and so she got screamed at for messing around and the teacher told her she was going to be kicked off the basketball team. Which, apart from being wildly inappropriate to yell at a kid who didn’t finish cutting something out, is nowhere near his decision anyway.

When we got to the part in our novel where the main character finally reveals in a vivid poem why he doesn’t want to talk about his pet dog, showing that the dog got hit by a car. My kids started sharing a lot of dead pet stories, which was sad because they had so many. Pets out here are not viewed in the same way I’m used to, and there are a lot of strays that are not cared for, so there are a lot of dead animals around. The worst story was from one of my most sensitive kids, who actually got teary while he was telling it. He said last year his grandpa was drinking a lot and then drove him to his mom’s work. When my kiddo was driving back home with his mom later, he saw their dog on the side of the road, dead. His grandpa had run it over on the way out and didn’t even notice because he was drunk.

It was a rough day.

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    In which I muse about New Mexico, teaching, and life in general.

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