hugs and heartbreak

13 Sep

I’ve been teaching for 8 years.  I forget sometimes how long it’s been, but today, talking to my grandma, I realized.  In 8 years of teaching, this is the first year where I am not starting the year as a classroom teacher.  I am now a support teacher, and it’s completely different from what I have become accustomed to.  This first week has been, on more than one occasion, frustrating.  Having to make a schedule, then change it, then fix it again…waiting to find out what room I’m in…not being able to make copies or print any materials…I was ready on day one to work.  I was ready to be with students, helping–ready to roll up my shirt sleeves and get to it.


So I am thankful that at the end of the first full week of school, I have now met all of my kids.  I am in my classrooms for almost an entire week now, pushing into classrooms and supporting and pulling small groups out to work with them.


The past 2 days, I have finally been able to work with my kids at my second school.  And what I am struck by is how loving they are.  Today, I was walking up to the school and the 5th grade class i JUST finally met yesterday for about 20 minutes was walking by the door.  Two kids came running to open the door for me, all smiles and hellos, and my caseload student came and gave me a giant hug.  As I walked down the hallway to get my key, another student (on his way back from the bathroom) literally ran into my arms.  His sister hugged me later today, when I got to her room.  I have had students who are not even on my case load coming to me, hugging me, holding my hand, sitting next to me, trying to touch my hair.


And all I can think about is how these kids are so starved for affection and attention that they are literally throwing themselves at me.  It makes me so sad sometimes.  I want a child so bad–little bodies to nurture, to raise, to hug, hold, snuggle tight and let them know that they are my whole world.  And every day, I work with babies who don’t have that.  Don’t get me wrong–some do, and some kids are, I’m sure, just very affectionate and would hug me no matter what.  But so many kids are out there with no one to parent them or more importantly to love them.  And it breaks my heart.


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