Back into the fire

Nothing very blog-worthy has been going on around here. I spent days on the couch, getting bad meds out of my system and regaining my strength from the number done on my body by meds and shingles. The shingles being the least of the problems.

I was able to return to my school chaplaincy duties on Wednesday. A third grader who had only attended two days at Columbia before Easter break died of an asthma attack during the break. I conferred with teachers and other staff members. I kept an eye on the kids in his class, some of whom I know from last year, when they were second graders. Having been at the school for such a short amount of time, there hadn’t been any attachments made with the boy but the kids did know who he was. Just as I do with the kids whose parents have been murdered, I will keep in touch with the boy’s classmates, checking in with them on the days I’m there, providing a listening ear, hugs, and stickers.

All of the first grade teachers were out for training on Thursday and so had substitutes in their classrooms. The first class I read to, right after lunch, was not prepared for me to come in. They had materials scattered all over their desks so I began to work with them to clear their desks, knowing this was going to take longer than usual when the teacher has them ready for me. They refused to clear their desks. Perhaps their own power struggle.

“But if you don’t clear your desks, then I can’t read to you. Don’t you want to hear a story?”

Many of them bellowed back, “NO!”

I was shocked. This class is more difficult but they like the stories and are glad to see me. But not this day. I asked again, “do you want a story?”

Although there were some YESes, the loudest answers were NO. So, I picked up my bag and told them I would be back next week and went to the next class which was delighted to see me and hear a story. A bit squirrely, but that is to be expected when there is a substitute.

I figure we all have a bad day here and there, so I’ll get over it and hope the kids do too and we can return to normal next week. If there is any such thing as normal. Especially at an inner city school.

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2 responses to “Back into the fire

  1. I am so glad to hear you are back to near-normal. That was a really hard time, and it also was a little shocking to hear how those kids reacted. You definitely have a difficult job but so very much needed.

  2. how awful about the kid dying of an asthma attack.

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