Student having a very rough time at home, want to let her know we care.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teacherperson, May 1, 2017.

  1. teacherperson

    teacherperson Rookie

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    May 1, 2017

    I'm a student teacher and a student of mine (3rd grade) is going through some horrific stuff at home and with her family (drugs, violence, etc). I wanted to do a little something for her just to let her know that we (the main classroom teacher and I) care a lot for her. Obviously, we've already reported it and all that, but now I just want to do something personal for her, like write a little note to her or something...I don't know, but you know what I mean? Are there any cards or poems or anything for something like this? Any ideas?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 1, 2017

    How about just giving this kiddo a little extra attention?

    Take your cues from your CT
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
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  4. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    May 2, 2017

    I agree with czacza to follow your CT on this.

    In my experience, cards and poems are really just not done in this situation. The best thing you can do is keep school a safe, predictable place.
     
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  5. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    May 2, 2017

    Take a couple of minutes to have a chat with her after class or before lunch or when there is a spare couple of minutes available. Talk to her about things unrelated to homework or school e.g her favourite food, which is her favourite superhero, normal kid stuff. In a rough home environment, she probably doesn't get asked 'how was your day sweetheart' as much as she would like, so take the time to give her a few minutes of your time. That's priceless.
     
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  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    May 2, 2017

    I would advise not doing anything on your own without the CT's knowledge. Although I agree with providing her with attention, I'd suggest it's the same care and attention you provide for the entire class. I'd highly recommend not singling her out individually. You don't know the whole situation; I realize it seems that you do, but you don't. Situations such as this are complex and often much more unorthodox than they appear on the surface. Three potential dangers could occur from extra individualized attention. The child could psychologically become confused and attach to you as a type of mother figure. This is especially dangerous since some children at this age still revere certain adults as being omniscient and omnipotent. Secondly, the investigation by authorities could temporarily negatively turn on you especially if the parents try to turn the tables against you. This in turn will slow down the process for obtaining assistance for the child. A third potential, since criminal drug activity is involved, the criminal network might react violently against you. If you are legally allowed to do so, I would recommend you discuss this with your college advisor, also. S/he will be best able to guide you in your decisions from your position as a college student, but also s/he will have insight on any protection that might be advisable (if necessary--it might or might not) during your stay at the college. Perhaps this next advice doesn't apply to this situation, but it's good to keep in mind that when kids do speak about such situations to a teacher, they might be telling the entire truth, partial truth, or perhaps none of it is true. That sounds harsh, I know, and I was also surprised to learn that children have various reasons for when they are inhibited from relaying the entire situation. Another thought to keep in mind during your career as a teacher, sometimes adults misinterpret what children say to them, because we think like adults and add our own reasoning to their literal verbalizations; not that that's what happened in your situation, but it's good to keep that in mind when listening to a child's description of situations.

    You and the CT have done the right thing. It's so unfortunate ! that some home situations are this way. A good book to read concerning this is Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 2016. This poignant autobiography describes one girl's experience growing up in a household involved in drug use and distribution.
     
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  7. TeachDW

    TeachDW Rookie

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    May 2, 2017

    As a teacher, I hate hearing those kinds of things. It's really frustrating to see children living in that kind of situation. It will really have a big effect on them. Were you able to talk with her parents?
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 3, 2017

    I'd suggest that a ST not be speaking to parents about such sensitive issues.
     
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