Working with children can be fun because they always have a playful happy spirit. Sweet faces who love their teachers and school and families are definitely one of the biggest rewards of working in elementary school.
Yet, this life isn't always kind to children. Children can lose those whom they love most. Children can get sick. Children can die.
I am getting better about having a life outside of work, but it is these situations that keep me up at night and give me unsettling dreams.
A little girl in my class had a parent commit suicide this weekend. She came to school like nothing happened. We weren't notified. Later, I found out that she wanted to be at school.
I'm struck by such a little one so alone in the world. She comes to school asking me for a new homework sheet because she lost hers. She promises me that she'll have it done on time. I say, "Sometimes things happen and we can't get everything done and it's okay." I know that no one will sit with her. I know that she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. I see her walk her younger siblings to school every morning.
Sometimes I forget to pray for my students. Of course, they're more than a job; but I sometimes leave thoughts of them at school. When life is like this, I remember to pray for them, but I can't find the words.