Thursday, March 24, 2011
Happenings in My Classroom
During conferences I really learn a lot more about my kids and their families and sometimes I need to learn not to ask.
Last year one of my students and her mom came into conference and I asked her how she was doing and how all her kids were, as the student in my class had 2 brothers that also went to our school. She said everything was fine. So I asked if she had had the conferences for the boys yet and she said that she wasn't going to them. I found it a bit weird, so I asked why not. And that is when the translator filled me in on the fact that the "brothers" of my student weren't really her brothers, they were her cousins and the father of the boys sent for them to come back to Mexico, so the boys had to go back to Mexico. Then I felt really bad for pressing the issue, because I could tell the Mom was really sad about it.
This year I did the same thing, but totally not on purpose, again. I asked about one of my parents why his son had dropped out of the after school program. The father went on to share that there had been a killing in the apartment across the hall, where the estranged husband had come back and killed his wife by slitting her throat and that the kids (my student and his sister) had seen the body roll out of the apartment and now they didn't want to go anywhere by themselves or be alone in the apartment.
Also another year, as I shared a students writing with a parent, I mentioned how great his imagination was as he talked about seeing gang wars and being locked up in jail (all before 4th grade) all in his writing. The parent then shared with me, they he had actually seen those things as where they had lived before was riddled with gangs and gang violence.
These kids really have so much to deal with! I can't imagine growing up with all of that going on.