Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Was Worried About Her All Night

One of our staff members got an abrupt phone call recently,
and the pupils in the after-school program were aware of it.
The message was relayed to her at the end of the hour-long session
of NIGHT OWL tutoring.  All the youngsters in the room knew
was that her husband was unable to find their dog.

The next day we all learned that her beloved pet had died.  
We- meaning the adults on the staff.  

At 3:30 P.M. that same afternoon when the NIGHT OWLS were lining up after snack,
a child came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder.  He looked to see
if his teacher was coming from the break room to get their group and
then quickly inquired,  "Is the dog OK?  I was worried about her all night."  

He had no clue.  
He went on to explain, "I wanted to hurry and ask you now.  If we say
something in the room, I don't want to hurt her feelings."  

I was stunned.  Here was a child of nine who gently inquired
about someone he cared about showing an intuition and
concern that often are lacking in people twice that age! 
I explained that the dog had passed away.
Hearing that he turned to the children and suggested that they
should not question her during class.  "If our teacher wants
to talk about it, let her bring it up. OK?"
His peers all nodded in agreement. 
That child, that day, that insight is one of the reasons why teaching kids is
such an honor.  The photographs above are snapshots of the beloved pet that
this family lost.  Our school is filled with special people, don't you agree? 

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