There is an excitement in the air around my house. It is the countdown to Thanksgiving and the countdown until Christmas and the countdown to the New Year. It will also be a celebration of many days in a row without school. This brings joy to all of us especially since even Pepper and I work for the schools. So the thought of this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend brings a little smile to my face.
The problem is, as I walk around my school building I see many kids that are not looking forward to the school break. One little girl I work with was very disappointed that during conferences when she found out that the kids had two half days. She asked me, “Can I still get lunch before I go home?” If she did not have lunch at school, she would not have lunch at all.
There is another little boy that has been having escalating behavior problems for a couple weeks now. The classroom teacher is being as patient and kind as she can be but the behaviors (like cutting other children’s coats and kicking adults in the room) are escalating to the point that they cannot be dealt with as minor offenses. We are trying to piece together what is going on. He looks so sickly and small. He reminds me of what the children must have looked like in that V.C. Andrews series called “Flowers in the Attic”. He eats two breakfasts and two lunches while he is at school. His mother says he does not really eat much at home…. Hmmm. We are noticing that his behaviors get worse toward the end of the day. Is he tired? Is he telling us he wants to leave school? Is he saying he doesn’t?
How will the long breaks from the consistency of school affect this little girl and this little boy?
I am thankful for the upcoming break. I will enjoy my Thanksgiving meal and the time I spend with family and friends. Sleeping in and hanging out with my kids are blessings that I truly love. But these children... the ones that I know of and others I don’t... ones who will not have enough to eat, a warm place to sleep and loving arms to hold them during this season will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers.
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