These children fill my heart and sometimes break it.

In which, teaching will show you the best and worst sides of humanity.

Today, after nap time when the little ones came out of their room to join my class in our “transition games” before snack and splitting back up, one of our girls was just having a hard time waking up. She so very sweetly came up to me, rubbing her eyes, telling me she missed her mommy. Sweet child. As I comforted her, she (quite sneakily) climbed into my lap and snuggled right in.

Let me tell you, sometimes 30 minutes holding a sweet 4 year old will just fill your heart and soul and with so much love and hope for this world. When her mom picked her up she was still snuggled in my lap, and as she got up she hugged me tighter and told me she loved me. If that’s not enough to make a person smile, I just don’t know what is.

On the other side:

I was chatting with one of my students close to the time he was to be picked up when he mentioned he was hungry. I replied with the usual for these kids “It’s almost time to go home and then it’ll be dinner time! Getting close!”

Instead of the usual reply of “Oooooookaaay.” I got, “Oh, we don’t have dinner at my house“.

Broke. My. Heart. I know I can’t do it every day, but you best believe I made the kid a sandwich to eat. I hate that this student isn’t the only one going without food at home. I hate that some of my students go home to abuse, or neglect, or fighting. I hate that I can’t magically make all their troubles go away every time I hear things like this. I just have to keep telling myself that I’m doing the best I can, I suppose.

And I am. I am an adult they can count on. I am one they can trust. I am one they know loves and cares for them. I am one they can turn to when they are hurt.

I will be the best I can for these kids. I know it’s all I can really do.

Overall, I love this job, and I love what I am able to do for these children. I often wish I could do so much more, but I know I am doing what I am meant to for now.

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