|Voltaic Systems Backpack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A fellow teacher sent me an email and asked if I could share this story with my readers. I think you’ll appreciate it as it is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming.
It’s nice to hear these kinds of stories. For security and professional reasons, I am not going to divulge any personal details of the story. I will let you know that every aspect of it is true, however.
If you are reading this and feel compelled to tell a story from your experience as a teacher, please contact me, and I’ll be happy to share it as well.
I was pulled aside by my principal first thing Wednesday morning and told that one of my first grade students would be absent that day because his house burned down the night before.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but the student was left homeless. His family lost everything in the fire. I was anxious to help in any way that I could, but had no way to contact the family. This morning, the student returned to school. He came straight to class and leaned on my shoulder, looking exhausted. I asked if he was okay. He hesitated, then nodded. I told him that if he needed anything, I could help. I did not specifically address the fire because I had no idea what he witnessed or how it affected him.
Later, he addressed the fire himself during writing. He wrote a very brief, factual account of what happened. He was sad that his house burned down and everything was gone. After reading his writing, I asked him again if he was okay. He seemed sure of himself when he said yes. I reiterated that if wanted or needed anything, I could get it. Anything anything. He said he just wanted a new homework folder and a backpack. I told him again–anything anything. He didn’t change his answer. All he wanted was a new homework folder and a backpack. That’s it.
The resiliency of some children can be really inspiring. Imagine losing everything you had ever owned and your only wish is to get some material to help you continue your schooling.
I had a similar experience a few years back. There was a fire and one of the older students in the school reacted quickly to get his family out of the house and to safety. The fire department even came to the school and presented him with an award. The school did a special fundraiser for the family as well.
Thank you for sharing this story with us, dear reader. I’m sure people have been touched by it. I hope your student gets everything he needs and continues to flourish in your classroom. Your compassion and care for your students is just as inspiring. All the best to you and your students