My heart was broken today as I listened to my student teachers recount some of the struggles they see in the at-risk children within their classrooms. We all shed a few tears today about the difficulties some children must face just to survive. The anger and survival actions that surface as misbehaviors in some children are understandable, but impossible to allow in the classroom. Many of these poor children have no control over anything in their lives so they act out in a desperate attempt for attention. Attention in any form is still attention.
I recently had the wonderful privilege of spending the entire Thanksgiving week in Southern California with my entire family. All three of my children and their families were there! We had an amazing time. My seven grandchildren are resilient, successful, and full of life. They excel in school, have music, art, and sports activities and they come home each day to a comfortable home and happy family. I thought of my grandchildren today and the large amount of support they receive from their parents and grandparents. Everyone is involved in their education and all other aspects of their lives. Every child deserves that type of support and love. But, there are so many children who must function without it. I realized this morning that the main reason I spend so much time in at-risk schools and with families living in marginal circumstances is to try to provide support that may not be there. I told my student teachers that the reason they are assigned to challenging classrooms is that they must make a difference for children who have few choices, if any, in their situation.
In this picture, my grandsons are showing their strength. My wish as we begin a new year is that more children can show their strength with confidence and have the ability to enjoy life with unconditional love.