Do you ever stop being sad?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Elocin, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2010

    Today we had an unexpected evacuation and had to leave our school. I discovered a child in my class doesn't have a winter coat--and the high today was 20 degrees.

    I gave up mine while we walked to (and then from) our evac location but the whole time I couldn't stop thinking about the kid waiting for a bus in early morning winter temps--early this week it was below zero with the wind chill. I arranged today to get the child a coat but I still can't quit thinking about it.

    I work in an urban school and hear and see lots of sad things every day that just really get me down about what all of the students are going through just to get to school every day. I don't want to say it depresses me but I want to save them all and I know I can't. Do you ever get "used" to it, where it doesn't haunt you at night?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Dec 16, 2010

    You never get used to it, but you come to a point that you realize that you just can't solve all the problems of the world. You just do your little part to help the ones you can.
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Those are the kids that make me sad. Good for you for finding a coat. That small kindness will make a big difference.
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    No, you never stop being sad. But, you learn to find resources to help those kids. I had one church donate clothes to a student when I taught kindergarten. Our PTA prepares baskets of food for needy families during the holidays. I've entered many of my students name to receive them. I refer students to counseling (school). Other than that, a lot of it is out of my hands.
     
  6. Blurazzberi

    Blurazzberi Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2010

    That is sad if he really doesn't have a coat. I Sometimes wonder is people think that about my little brothers. They REFUSE to wear a coat no matter what. My mom has to threaten them to make them take their coats sometimes. They try to hide them under the seats before they run into the building...i guess its cool to go around in the snow and freezing weather with no coat? :confused:
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 16, 2010

    I so understand how you feel, Elocin. :(
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Dec 16, 2010

    You never stop feeling sad, but like another poster mentioned, you find resources to help that students and focus on the joys you and your students give each other.
     
  9. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Dec 16, 2010

    We keep a collection of coats that we can go to each winter to give to students. They are able to keep them, and they are typically very greatly. My school also has a "mitten tree". It is a Christmas tree with donated hats, mittens, and scarves. Teachers come in and shop for their students that don't have any. You learn to do what you can, and sometimes that really has to be enough. You learn to *try* to not take it home with you.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Dec 16, 2010

    Elocin,
    I totally know what you mean... in one of our college classes we had to tutor/big bro, sis type thing during school hours. I had to work at one in the city. The child I had only had like a "fall" type jacket for winter no hat or mittens. I remember having a jacket that was down filled. I brought it to the child & along with a warm hat & mitten. You would have thought I brought the child gold!!!
    Like the others small things sometimes mean the most.
     
  11. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2010

    I completely understand the feeling. I am a new teacher and wonder if my heart will be able to handle all the tugs and pulls. Everything from a student whose parents only want them at school for the free food (As quickly as he lines up for breakfast, I am not sure if he gets other food) to seeing the students wear the same clothes everyday. Then there are all the home issues ....
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 16, 2010

    So many of my students are in dire situations (homeless, pregnant, sick) that it overwhelms me sometimes. The best I can do is make sure they know that I care deeply about them and am there for them. If they are in a bad place or are not safe, they know to talk to me.

    Ever hear the starfish story? You may not be able to save every child, but you can save the ones you can reach. If you can make their lives a little easier, perhaps that will lift the burden off your mind a little more.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2010

    Thanks for the reminder of the starfish story. I'm losing a lot of sleep this week because of one of my students, and reading this again helped.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2010

    That's my son.

    His coat won't fit into the middle school lockers-- apparently no winter coats will. And the school is warm. So the kids ALL wear hooded sweatshirts to school.

    I'm so sorry to hear how upset you are, and applaud you for getting the child a coat.

    Would you think about sponsoring a Coats for Kids type of drive in the school? Many families have coats at home-- the youngest kid has outgrown last year's. About 2 weeks ago, one of the Eagle Scouts in my neighborhood was sponsoring a drive, and we donated 5 coats (I was waiting for the drive in the kids' school, but this one came along first.)
     
  15. luludc

    luludc Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2010

    I've been in an urban school for 5 years and teach Kindergarten. I have to say, yes, certain things still make me sad. Some of my students have very hard lives and deal with things children should never have to deal with.

    I remember my first year teaching, being horrified that kids slept in sleeping bags on the floor instead of beds. That same year, a student's mom got evicted and asked me to borrow 20 dollars. These things used to worry me to no end. But I can honestly say it doesn't affect me as much as it did my first couple of years. It's like I've become desensitized to it, and I'm not so sure that's a good thing. Not sure what the solution is...

    When I notice my students need things like clothing, etc, I usually go on the Freecycle Yahoo group for my area and ask for what I need. Just a couple of weeks ago I got 2 winter coats and several kids' winter hats and gloves for my students. People are usually happy to donate what their children have outgrown when they hear it is for other children in need. Try Freecycle.org.
     
  16. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Dec 17, 2010

    Last year I was a total mess (first year working in an urban school). This year I'm handling it better, but I don't think I'll ever just get over it. It really infuriates me. But we do what we can, right? :(
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    When it is a real need my heart breaks. Sometimes, like others have said, it isn't a real need but instead a choice. When kids choose not to wear the bulky coat or choose to have $300 iPhones instead of a coat, I get irritated instead. I just want to smack 'em! lol But, I've found that being cool is worth being cold ;)
     
  18. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2010

    I remember not wanting to wear a coat too but that was more middle school/high school. I spoke with other teachers about it and they said they weren't surprised to hear the child didn't have a coat :( There is a very sad family story.

    Thank you so much for the empathy AND the ideas. I LOVE the idea of a coat drive and can't believe I didn't think of Freecycle as I use it myself.

    But, like a lot of you mentioned, this is just one sad story I hear or see every day. Catnfiddle--I am going to remind myself of the starfish story and know that I am doing what I can.
     
  19. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Dec 18, 2010

    You're lucky that only one kid doesn't have a coat!
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Yes, it would almost be inhuman to not want to help them all or ignore the whole thing, but the reality is that you just CAN'T help them all or let it consume you during every waking hour or you'll be miserable.

    I say for those who want to, do the MOST you can without breaking your wallet or risking your own health & well being.
     

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