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Classroom Observations

April 25, 2006


This semester has drifted by before I could even realize…working in the classroom this semester continues to open my eyes to the needs of us all. The need to be loved, to be needed, to be noticed. Observing and helping in the classroom I’ve been absolutely broken, challenged, and stretched. O how my heart cries out to these children. The one’s not always accounted for. The silent voice. The forgotten generation. Sure there are the redeeming stories and those who have peachy keen home lives, but many of my children carry the weight of the world on their backs. Over the past two weeks the kids have been working on an “I am” poem. Heartwrenching some of them are. Truly, I mean, there were some I read and just wanted to cry. Ms. Christie gave them a format to follow, allowing them to fill in the blanks.

For one of my education classes I have to observe a student who comes from a different background than me–either socioeconomically, racially, or a student in SPED [special education]. After the first day when Dylan announced his desire to be a rapper and in a gang, I knew he was the one I wanted to observe. No doubt–my heart cried out for him. For the past 3 months I’ve been burdened for these children–Dylan in particular. Praying through all the trials and praying for God to place his hands on these children…

Unbelievable, some of the things these children go through. As a teacher, you take on so much more than just teaching a curriculum. You take on the lives of these children. I find it hard to not become personally involved, emotionally and spiritually–that’s where prayer comes in. As I took an amazing reprieve for Spring Break, some of my children experienced things I probably will never experience. One boy’s sister was hit by a truck and barely lived. One child’s father was busted and sent to jail for having 54 lbs of marajuana [not mention he had been doing drug deals with his son in the car]. Another boy [3rd grade] was institutionalized. Two sisters had CPS come out to their home because one of the girls showed up with a black eye. Another child’s parents do not feed him, so the only food he gets is at school [thus, when he goes home for the weekends, his next meal is Monday morning breakfast]. This is why Ms. Christie always bring snacks for the kids. Lindsay and I were reading some of the kids poems today and were crying and laughing:

“I worry if my uncle will get out of jail and hurt me.”

“I worry about when my brother goes to jail.
I hope my brother will not go to jail again.”

“I worry about my Mom.
I say to my Mom, ‘I hope you come home safe.’
I hope to see my Mom in the mornings.
I dream about my brother’s voice at night.”

“I hope someone will help me with my stuttering.”

“I wonder if the people who say they love me really do.
I want to have more friends.
I pretend to have a lot of friends.
I worry whether or not I have friends at all.
I say that I don’t have that many friends.
I hope to have tons of friends.”

“I worry about passing 4th grade.”

“I feel mad.
I worry about getting in trouble at school.”

“I hope that those around me can experience confidence as well.”

“I am special to my family and I like to be the class clown.”

“I am cool and dirty.”

“I pretend I am my dad.”

“I feel empathetic toward other people.”

“I touch life.”

Here is Dylan’s poem:

I am Dylan
I am special and artistic.
I wonder why the trees give you oxygen.
I am a special boy.
I wonder how water drips off duck feathers.
I hear things that are not there like people.
I see things that are not there like dead people.
I want the Eminem CD.
I am cool and throad.

I pretend to play Dragon Ball Z.
I feel something slimey and gooey.
I touch water and it is cold.
I worry about my Mom and Dad.
I cry when I get burnded.
I am doing my best at school.

I understand it is wrong to steal.
I say bad words sometimes.
I dream of Freddy.
I try to be good.
I hope I get an Eminem CD.
I am tite and cool.

…Today he told me that he wished I were his mom. My heart hurts for these kids whose home lives are so sad. The neglect in this generation is horrendous. All the more reason I want to homeschool my children one day. And all the more reason I want to teach and make a difference in these kids’ lives for eternity. Thinking about how parents could be so neglectful, I suddenly was hit with the weight these men and women bear. They too suffer. They too have experienced such neglect. They too need love. O Jesus! It’s too much sometimes! This world’s in such a hopeless state in many aspects. The pain, tremendous. The love, sparse. Yet, it’s what we all want–love–to receive it and give it. Lord, you are love. Fill this world with your love! The two extremes of justice and mercy boggle my mind…praise You, Jesus, for Your sacrifice to bridge the gap. O Lord, place your hands on these children, on Your children! May they know You.

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