Today I cried at work. Not because I hate my job, or that it is just too hard (it really is). Today I cried for a child, a child who so innocently talked about food, and the lack of it.
He asked when the lady that puts food in his backpack was coming. It caught me off guard, because it is our guidance counselor and I wasn’t sure what he needed. I told him I wasn’t sure about this week since it is a short week. He told me he was out of it at home and needed more.
Of course I asked what was in the bag that he liked so much. I asked if it was the macaroni bowls or the crackers, he said no. I asked if it was the spaghetti o’s, he laughed and told me no that they didn’t have those.
Then it happened… he looked at me and said, “those little o’s (as he made a small circle with his hand), we don’t have those at my house, but when I do have them they give me a warm belly and help me sleep.”
I lost it, I cried in front of 20 little people. No kid should ever be hungry, ever.
Well here is where it gets even better, I immediately sent a text to my group, these are the people who are teachers. Remember, hearing people say that we spend all of our money in our classrooms?
We spend it to make sure that our kids have what they need to succeed, and today we bought food. Yep, we put our money together and made sure that this sweet baby had some spaghetti o’s!
I did not write this for anyone to get praise, nobody did it for the praise. I want people to know that teachers are humans, we love your kids and want the very best for them. Some days we get frustrated and feel overwhelmed, but today we did what was best for a child. Will it show on a test score? Nope! Do we care? Nope!
Today I’m thankful for all of my people at school, big and little. It takes a village, it really does. It’s a crazy roller-coaster of emotions being a teacher, but today it was worth every tear that fell to see him light up when that bag was put into his backpack! Teachers, keep your heads up YOU ARE making a difference! We are all exhausted, but we push forward each and every day.
Guys, I did not expect the outpouring of love that you all have shown. I appreciate all of the texts, calls, and messages that I have received to offer help. I assure you that he has enough (thanks to the bag program too), to do him for the next few weeks and that includes fall break. Our principal also made sure to let me know that if he needed anything from the snack closet at school, that I could go in and grab it for him! I work at an amazing school with awesome people who truly love what they do! Thank you all for offering anything and everything, you guys rock!
We are now starting a food pantry for our students. Students will be able to get food whenever needed! If you would like to help, we are accepting food donations as well as hygiene products!
ATTN: FOOD PANTRY
164 Jacksboro Elementary School Road,
Jacksboro, TN 37757
This article first appeared on Facebook, it was written by Brooke Goins, a teacher at Jackboro Elementary School