Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The importance of today for tomorrow

If you are looking for a book to read may I suggest this one:
Technically, book critics and reviewers call it a "middle-grade novel," meant, I suppose for students in grades 4 - 8. Perhaps, but for me, it had a great message.

From 1983-1986, I spent three years as a social worker for the Texas Department of Human Services trying to put families back together. I worked with children who had been abandoned, ignored, beaten, shuffled from home to home, and forgotten. I worked with children whose parents either couldn't or wouldn't feed them, who burned them with cigarettes, who left them alone all night, or who were willing to use them to get drugs. The children who came to me did not come because life was good. They came because life was less than it should be for a three- or five- or eleven- or thirteen-year-old.

I was supposed to help these children. Yet, in most cases, these children helped me.

How?

They taught me the power of knowing that you belong, that you matter, that someone cares for you.

These children - ignored, hurt, forgotten - wanted to belong.

As a social worker, I saw how easily parents and relatives would give up on a child. I saw how adults would take care of themselves instead of taking the time to listen, to care, to help a child - their child.

Yet, most of these children still believed that there were adults who would care for them, who would help them, who would love them.

In our public schools, it is critically important that we create classrooms that care for kids. In our public schools, it is critically important that teachers and principals and bus drivers and cooks understand that the students who come to school every day need to find in our classrooms, on our buses, in our lunch rooms, on the playground people who care for them.

I understand that we have schools so that our children will learn the lessons that will prepare them for the rest of their lives. But our children are living lives right now. To ensure that they will be ready for the rest of their lives the children who come to our schools every day need to know that there are people who care about them, who will create positive spaces for them, who will make them feel like they belong right now.

Our children will never be ready for tomorrow unless they have adults who care for them today.

3 comments:

  1. Very true and giving to these children care and a feeling of protection will enable us to protect our own future as these kids are our tomorrow, our future!
    Preethi Bharat

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a beautiful message - thank you for sharing! I plan to check out the book and share with my daughter.
    - Leslie

    ReplyDelete