The part of the job I hate

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by ChristyF, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 14, 2003

    The first day of school I got a "new" student. *Tammy* had moved in at the end of last year, they thought she moved so they didn't put her in anyone's room. Because she was diagnosed with dyslexia they put her in my room. I wasn't happy since I had the largest numbers, but fell in love with her immediately. She is such a sad story. Dad, step-mom (who doesn't like her), 2 older step sisters who are horrible to her(bruises, takes her money and books). Dad and step-mom have a very volatile relationship and after a huge battle last night in which dad and step brother got into a fight and the police were called dad has decided that he and Tammy are leaving. She only just started living with dad. Up until about a year ago she lived with mom. She said that she no longer does that because "my brother did something really bad to me". Dad doesn't want her, he says she is going back to live with mom (and abusive brother). Step-mom doesn't want her. She left school today with tears in her eyes because she doesn't know where she will be tomorrow. I spoke to my principal who called OCS. They are looking into it, but since the physical abuse is between dad and step-mom, there really isn't anything we can do. She will slip away and I'll never be able to keep up with her. Sometimes I hate this job.
     
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  3. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Oct 15, 2003

    What a sad sad story. It made me want to go snatch that little girl and bring her home. Being a private school we seldome have any really sad things like that...thank goodness.

    Eileen
     
  4. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 15, 2003

    Two years ago we had a family come through. There were 3 kids in 4th grade. One was the right age, one had failed one year, and the one I had was 2 years behind. Her story was frightningly similar. After I called OCS several times and really pushed the issue they got involved. Dad promptly took the kids and ran. I was already looking into trying to adopt *Brenda*. She would write me letters begging to come home with me and promising if I would let her be my little girl that she would be so good. Sometimes I wonder if my heart is strong enough. One part of me wants to pull away, but I know that these kids don't have anyone else in their corner. I just can't give up on them.
     
  5. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Oct 15, 2003

    Yesterday one of my third graders came in with a huge bruise on his cheek. My cooperating teacher and I noticed it and I took him to the nurse. She asked him outright if an adult had hit him; he just shook his head no.

    I don't know where his bruises come from; I noticed them the first week of school and voiced my concerns to the teacher. She wasn't terribly concerned until yesterday. I'm worried he's either being abused (but his brother in another class has no bruises) or may be autistic and self-injuring for sensory reasons. His social behaviors are isolated and just a bit "off" (he gets trance-like, has trouble interacting appropriately, etc.) and he consistently punches himself in the face, bangs his head on the wall, smashes his metal locker door into his head, etc. He told me he uses the refrigerator door at home. But basically nothing is being done too look into my autistic theory (and maybe I am wrong) but regardless, that kind of behavior, if its causing bruising, needs to be considered.

    I guess I know how you feel Christy.

    Ellen
     
  6. kteachdc

    kteachdc Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2003

    I thought I'd seen the saddest thing ever last year (a child in my class was used by his mother as a cop lookout during drug purchases), however, this year's class takes the cake. I have 10 kids. 3 have fathers doing jail time (or coming out of jail, or being arrested at home, beating mom, etc.) 3 more have NO dad - absolutely no contact with the father. It seems like everyone else's parents are in the middle of a divorce. Oh, and one has a father who works in a strip club (how she knows this I have no idea - she's 5). All in all, this has been quite a depressing year. Everyone has behavior issues (not surprising) and I don't know what to do at all. Usually I can handle this sort of thing from one or two kids, but I've about had it. I'm very angry at the parents - I know that's pretty useless, but I can't figure out what to do. I feel pretty useless - that no matter what I do, these kids are doomed to sad lives. I know that's not true, but somehow it's hard to remember success when surrounded by awfulness. Any suggestions?
     
  7. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Oct 15, 2003

    I had a second grader last year who would bang his head on the desk when he was frustrated and I mean hard! He would also crawl inside his desk and do other things to injure himself. I referred him and he qualified for EBD. With a lot ot time and teamwork this kid is now learning appropriate ways to deal with his frustrations. For once it really worked!
     
  8. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Oct 22, 2003

    I've taught 25 years and seen most of it.
    These kids are all over the place and sometimes
    you have to dig a little to find out all the conflicts
    in their lives. All you can do is love these kids as
    much as you can and give them a safe haven. Encourage and
    always call DCF if you suspect abuse.......
    15 years ago I had a tall black girl named Della and her
    two wild twin brothers. She was thoughtful and very smart.
    One day she wrote an essay for her teacher about how fair
    I was with my class and how much she liked me for it. I have
    that paper to this day. Well, one day she let on that her
    mom's boyfriend was trying to get into her pants and I called
    DCF immediately. She was taken away and I never saw her again.....until about 3 years ago. She was a nurse at a local
    hospital. SHe saw me in the hall and her first words were. "you saved my life." These are the reasons I teach and love kids.
    WE cant save all the kids but we can do our best and give them
    love and attention and mostly ENCOURAGEMENT..........
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2003
  9. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 22, 2003

    I think the hardest part for me is admitting that we can't save them all. It kills me to know that there are kids that slip through the cracks. As a teacher I see what is going on in their lives and yet my hands are tied in so many ways. I give hugs after hugs, make my room as friendly and homey as possible, they know I love them and pray for them every night. It just hurts to know that I can't protect my kids like I want to.
    Christy
     
  10. HannahB2

    HannahB2 Companion

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    Mar 31, 2004

    Wow. All of your stories are very touching.

    ~Hannah
     
  11. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Apr 28, 2004

    I had a similar situation. I remember this because it happened two years ago and it's also my first case of abuse.

    I was working with a summer camp and realized that this one girl had three different burn marks on each forearm and each had a different healing fase. I asked her what happened to her and she said that she got burned with an iron, but kept repeating that she wasn't playing with the iron. Her sister whom was following the conversation told her: "she doesn't understand" (meaning I don't understand).

    Since it was a camp with the Sheriffs Office, I immediately called one of the officers and gave a statement, they took pictures and reported it. They told me that if the case went to court that I would be called. Needless to say I was never called, however the next year in that same summer camp, I saw the girl's sister and she said that the girl doesn't live at their house anymore. I'm working at this same camp this year, and I hope never to see that child again and that she's living in a better place.

    -Crystal
     

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