Here’s a moving piece from my long time friend, Mary Lou Driedger. She is a retired teacher and also a special writer (short fiction, YA novel) and journalist.
I am waiting for a post-observation chat with the student-teacher I am supervising when a child approaches her. He is getting ready to go out for recess.
Child: Miss P could you please tie my shoes for me?’
Miss P: Sure I can.
She bends down and starts tying his laces.
Miss P: It’s pretty cold and icy out today. Don’t you have any boots?
Child: How long is a week?
Miss P: A week is seven days.
Child: Then I have to wait seven days to get boots because that’s when my Mom says the cheque will come.
I am visiting with my student teacher when a mother comes in to talk to the classroom teacher.
Parent: I just wanted to let you know I have to move again but I will try to find a place close by so my daughter can keep coming to school here.
Teacher: I am glad you came in today because I have a report that we have been waiting for a long time for you to sign. It is about a special education plan we want to put in place to help your daughter with her reading.
Parent: She read a book to me the other day and I nearly cried.
Teacher: (Speaking softly and putting her hand gently on the mother’s arm) Yes her reading is getting a little better but she needs to come to school more often if we want her to make some real progress.
Parent: I know. I try. But some days I just don’t feel that well and it’s too hard for me to get her ready and walk her to school.