As a teacher, the worst things are the problems you can't fix. If you can't read and are years behind, I will help you. If you can't add, subtract, and multiply; we'll get there together. If you can't make friends, I'll help you learn. If you can't speak English I'll help you. There are some things, though, I am powerless over.
One of my little third graders was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor yesterday. She's had headaches and they thought they were going to get migraine medicine. This family had no idea they would be getting the worst news of their lives. I can't protect her from this danger. I can't stop this pain. I can't help any of her eight and nine year old friends who are going to witness what this disease can do.
I found out this morning when the vice-principal came in to cover my class so that I could talk to the mother of this little girl. We had to address it with the students today too because the little girl was telling her friends. I knew that I could not just break down and cry about this today because I did not need to scare the kids. We talked to the kids about treating her normally and not talking about this unless she would talk to them. I was doing really well until one little boy in my class raised his hand and said, "Can I just give her my teddy bear?" I let the vice principal answer it because I didn't want to cry and scare the kids.
If you are reading this blog, please take a moment to say a prayer for this little girl and her family. Please say a prayer for me and my class. If you are a teacher reading this, and you've dealt with something like this before any advice is appreciated. I know all of my students will be hurting and I want to do what I can to be the teacher they need. Those days when she is out and her desk is empty are going to be really hard for us.