Teachers without a clue

I got an email the other day from my youngest daughter’s teacher about a “Cool U” interview with each student in class. Typical of my daughter not to say anything about this project until the last-minute! I didn’t see the blue sheet with details on it that the teacher sent home with all the students until today. I even went through photos I have stored on this laptop and emailed them to her.

Turns out that this project is asking for my daughter to take pictures of her home and neighborhood, pets or farm animals, favorite activities and family. Right off the bat, I see a problem. First of all, we’re homeless, do you want photos of a mini van that isn’t moving right now? Second of all, we have no pets and my eldest daughter doesn’t get “home” from school and after school activities until almost 8 pm. That leaves just the few photos I have on my laptop. Our favorite activities are to have enough food to eat, a warm and safe place to sleep and no harassment from the police. I’m sure the school would love to have my daughter post that to her entire class.

Of course, me being me, I will again contact this teacher (don’t get me wrong, I actually like her and think she does a great job) and let her know that this project highlights what most people take for granted. People don’t realize my girls don’t want their peers to know how they’ve been living. I will simply have to tell the school that if they can’t use the pictures I already sent then maybe my daughter doesn’t need to take part in this activity. Sure, the teacher gave my daughter a camera to use but it has no batteries and it’s not like I have the cash to buy any. I still have a transmission that needs to be replaced.

You know now that I think about it, this isnt’ the first time a situation like this came up. When the holiday season was here, my youngest was given a flyer about a holiday program being held in the school auditorium and the school was asking all the kids to wear their best holiday outfits. Well my daughter only has one dress and it is the one from two years ago that she wore to my grandmother’s funeral. She can barely fit it but she wanted to go so we went. My daughter takes violin at the school and sometimes they have recitals. Again, Maggie was sent “home” with another flyer asking all the kids to dress up and wear black and white. Needless to say, she didn’t go to that recital. Her dress has since been donated to a thrift store because she just can’t fit it anymore.

Even my teenager has to let things pass her by at high school if it costs money. I am proud of her though. She hasn’t given up looking for a job, even if it’s babysitting!

Little things like this sting more than people realize. Once I tell my kids’ teachers that we are homeless and have been for a while, they suddenly don’t know what to say or the opposite happens. I laughed when a school counselor asked me if I knew about welfare and shelters. I laughed and told her she doesn’t know me too well, does she?

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About invisibull

Let's see now, what should I say on here to make people think I'm more interesting than I actually am...I'm a single mother of two with a passion for helping others less fortunate than myself. I like to write, finished a book and am working on another. Other than that I live a real-life video game where the goal is to get out of homelessness and provide a better future for my kids. Peace!
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5 Responses to Teachers without a clue

  1. Sandie Belcher says:

    Another poignant article Carey. It’s one that I think many of us, even if we have not been homeless, can identify with. I think we have all had that sinking feeling at 8am on a school morning when a child has said “I need a costume for today” …… “and a hamper for the old people”. Different reasons maybe but it helps us to empathize.

  2. Galaxian says:

    I have a distinct suspicion that small items like neighborhood & favorite family activities, as mentioned above, are a major part of the selective cuts by which children are slotted into success and failure-promoting tracks. This explains why neither mother nor children are eager to encourage the billboarding at school of their actual circumstances. The competent teacher probably knows but will keep publicly mum. Fortunately, schools are not legally allowed to exclude homeless children from classes, but they will make the parents of such jump through extra hoops in connection with their kids. However, important to recall is that various socioeconomic “microaggressions” that less advantaged schoolchildren must endure as they grow up really do carry considerable potential for psychological harm.

    The short of all this is that if you have children in school, you should train them to treat with their homeless classmates with a modicum of decorum and dignity.

  3. Sara says:

    came across the huffington post article & have been following your blog & twitter……. had a couple ideas how to help & would love your email address or email me at the incl. address- look forward to talking to you =)

  4. JP says:

    Of course I can’t relate to what it’s like to be homeless… but I can to what it’s like to be jobless. My daughter is in show choir… she came home with a flyer for show choir camp and you could just see in her eyes the sadness because she knew there was not a chance in hell she’d ever go…

    Do you ever get over the guilt of not being able to give your family what they want? I haven’t figured that out yet… Every time they talk about wanting something it eats at me. I always want to apologize to them.

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