Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Classroom Prayer List

Note: Names changed in article to protect my students' identities.

I often catch myself thinking different phrases throughout the day. It's frequently "I'm going to kill myself after school today." Not that I actually would, but in that moment the thought of coming back the next day...it's nearly insurmountable.

Another one, especially when I'm at home, or even at school, is "Oh God, please bless my babies." I mean, on the one hand, I'm so glad that I'm not a parent...at 3:00 I am READY to give them back (I'm actually ready around 12:30, but HISD says that school ends at 3:o0). However, there are a couple of kids that I wish I could bring home with me. Not because they are oh-so-cute (even though they often, but not always, are), but because I am terrified of what happens to them at home.

Like O. In October, for 2-3 weeks, I had to literally carry her out of the school screaming "Don't make me go home! I want to stay with you!" At that point Alex was still trying to run away to go home. She's had lice 7 times this year...really bad. She almost never smiles. She is the saddest little heartbreaking thing.

Then there's M. Fortunately the social worker is involved now. I pray for that one so much and I hope you will too. I worry constantly about her and her brothers and sister. She's so cute and says some really funny, endearing things. Then she told me that her daddy was in jail because he and her mommy were "fighting" and her sister (who is 5) had to get the knife to help mommy get away. Then she told me that her stepdad broke her mommy's arm and hurt her brother (who coincidentally, or not, didn't come to school that same day). Today she said her mommy was "bad" and her stepdad had to "whup her." I am terrified of what will happen to those kids.

Please pray for my students. I don't know anyone else who needs it quite like they do. They are broken, battered little people and they're only four years old. They're so damaged. I have to be really careful to handle certain situations certain ways so my kids don't freak out or shut down. For some of them, I think that I'm the only one who tells them that I love them. They break my heart everyday. The violence they have seen, the terror they have experienced. No one should have to live that way and they are just children.

It's nothing short of tragic.

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