After reading some of the posts about teacher’s hearts, I might have teared up a little. (I’m a guy, remember?!) Ok, fine, I cried. I wanted to share my story with you.
The heart of a teacher is found in a story from my first year of kindergarten. I had a little girl who struggled with head lice all year. It was so bad I could see if from a foot away. As the year went on, she continued to miss school because of the lice. It got so bad that I would see her scratch and would call her to the back (without others seeing, of course!) and she would immediately begin to cry and say “I don’t want to go home again, I want to stay with my friends.” I was so worried about her. Then it happened. I got a call from the office that the girl was back, BUT there was an issue. Her mother had grown so frustrated with the lice that she……SHAVED….the little girls hair. Can you imagine having your hair shaved????? She came to the room wearing a little pink hat from the guidance counselor. She crawled into my lap and sobbed. She kept saying she was ugly and wanted to go home. I told her she was as beautiful as ever and just held her. After a few minutes, I asked her to run an errand for me. Then I addressed my class. I told them that sometimes mommy and daddy do things we don’t like and we have to do it because they are mommy and daddy. I explained to them that this little girl’s mom had shaved her hair and she had to do what mommy said. We read Hooway For Wodney Wat and talked about being shy and bullies and friendship. We had a great discussion. As we were discussing this and I was laying down the law that no one would make fun of our friend, a little girl raises her hand and says, ” She’s still the same Tiara, right?!” I said of course she is. The little girl says, ” Then we still love her like we always did.” And so the next day when Tiara walked into her our classroom (she was always late) she found 14 friends and a teacher sitting on the carpet all wearing hats to show our friend we were all in this together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger smile. And for the rest of the week, my class wore hats. And were fiercely protective of their friend until the end of school.
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