A significant adult

I arrived at school earlier than usual this week. Each day, several of our students were already at the daycare – by 6:30 a.m. I also know that those same students are some of the last to be picked up at day’s end. No wonder they are tired and antsy during the school day. This week, I also had tearful visits from both students who lost their mother unexpectedly this year. Three other boys, grades one, four and five, were in the office a few times – not because they were in trouble, but because they were not being productive in the classroom.

What’s the commonality? All are struggling because of circumstances beyond their control and beyond their years. Understanding their circumstances helps us to deal with these students with patience and care.

Today we celebrate mother’s day. For many, this is a day of joy – honouring a significant adult in their lives. For others, this is a day of pain – highlighting what’s missing.

Linda F. Winfield has said, “Resilient children have at least one significant adult in their lives.” Perhaps we are that significant adult in a child’s life. And perhaps we need to convey the same message Christopher Robin gave to Winnie the Pooh, “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

As we sat to prepare class lists for next year, the topic came up: what does this child need? Perhaps they need YOU.

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