Friday, October 7, 2011

You Can't Save Them All

A teacher and a counsellor talking about their approach in handling a student with bullying issues. It wasn't black and white. It was a combination of many different teachers and enlisting family to approach the same problem from different angles.

A few teachers speaking to a student in the hallway. I heard not a word but could tell by the demeanor of the student, that he didn't want to hear what they were saying.

Bits and pieces of conversations among the school's team have opened my eyes to a fraction of all that these people are dealing with all day, every day.

Yesterday, I heard the words "Kids making bad choices ..." coming from a teacher that I had met in the weeks before school started. I was in awe of this teacher's zest for life, enthusiasm and joyfulness. Yesterday? I saw defeat. I complimented this teacher on the way that the school staff works together and works in the best interests of the students. She silently acknowledged that fact but it wasn't enough. "You can't save them all ..." was her response.

In so many cases, these teachers are the best shot that the students have. These children come from every situation imaginable. I cannot begin to fathom what these young people are dealing with - inside and outside of the school. I see only whispers of the story within as I hear only a very, very small fraction of what is going on around me.

There is so much that I don't know about, understand or see. I have witnessed small victories ... watched the connections between staff and students ... seen the weight of the responsibilities fall upon the shoulders of a caring staff ... a smile when a positive encounter has turned a situation around ... but what haunts me the most were the words I heard yesterday. "You can't save them all ..."

But if you can make a difference in the life of one child, it could make all the difference in the world.

“ I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do." 
~ Helen Keller

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