Are You That Father?

    As a Literacy teacher, I am always prepared for literature that we read in class to elicit feelings in my students due to connections that they make to what the characters in the book are going through.  We are currently reading a book about four children who were abandoned by their parents and the events caused one of my students to have a very emotional reaction.     We were having a class discussion about the chapter we had just read and I asked if it was realistic to say that losing a parent early on has a profound impact on a person's life long-term.  One of my male students raised his hand and stated that if his father died it would not affect him at all because his father was never there for him and walked out when he was little.  He then proceeded to sob uncontrollably to the point that I had to stop the lesson to comfort him.     As I reflect on this experience, I can't help but think how familiar this story is in most of my students' cases.  Many of them come from … [Read more...]

Burdened Children

         Lately I have been noticing that a lot of my students have been arriving to school late in the morning or just being absent from school more often than they regularly are.  Upon further investigation and discussion with them when they do come to school, I have become aware of what I consider to be a growing problem.  It seems that a lot of my students arrive late because they have to take their younger siblings to school in the morning.  Additionally, sometimes they are absent because they have to stay home and take care of their younger brothers and sisters while their parents run errands, attend doctor's appointments, or go to work.     I completely understand that life has a way of creating unexpected situations and that emergencies and extenuating circumstances sometimes warrant extreme measures.  However, from a parent's perspective, this is really irresponsible behavior.  I'm totally against imposing the responsibility of caring for younger siblings on older … [Read more...]