There’s been a bit of a theme as I’ve listened in these past few weeks. A Mom theme.
“Where is your real Mom?”
“How many Moms do you have?”
“My Mom is visiting a guy. I don’t know when she’s coming back.”
“I have 2 Moms. And 2 Dads I guess. But I don’t know one of the Dads.”
“I miss my Mom.”
“I don’t know where my Mom is.”
“Do you live with your Mom?”
“She’s sad I think because she wants to see her Mom.”
“I want to make a card for my Mom. But how will I give it to her?”
“My Mom got married and she moved to a new place.”
Absent Moms. Back and forth Moms. Not quite ready Moms. Dead Moms.
This is the Mom theme in my room.
I am a Mom. I am their teacher. And I am really, really human. So often, I want to step in and be the Mom. I am fully qualified. I can give snuggles, establish bedtimes, bake muffins, walk hand in hand. I can read bedtime stories, match socks, clap the loudest at soccer games and dance performances. I can love large and unconditionally. I can treat for lice and stay up half the night when illness happens. I can beam with pride and deliver huge hugs. I can take good care.
But I have to have boundaries. They need me to be their teacher. I can’t take them all home.
Sometimes, when I see Mom touches, it’s really emotional. Because so much of what I see are signs of missing Moms. The freshly braided hair. The carefully packed snack. The collared shirt under the sweater. Clipped fingernails. Little, tiny signs. Mom presence.
There is no judgement. It’s just how it is.
But this Mom theme, it gets me big.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.
…I think we have room for a few… I could build the beds.
I know . . .
Oh my heart.
Your deep deep love for your students always shows in your writing.
Loralee, thanks always for reading.
It is painful for us all. Sometimes when I’m doing something for Annie, I stop and think about how many kids don’t have someone doing it for them.
You have no idea how many times this has happened to me.
This is one of the hazards of a teacher’s job. This is why this is not a job, but a calling.
Thank you for being there for these children, and for caring so deeply.
Cathy, thank you for this comment. I am blessed to be able to spend time with these kids every day.
Your writing is full of love and voice!! I hear you. There are several kids at school I wish I could bring home with me–read them a story, give them limits and hugs and listen to them tell about their day. Thank you for the reminder of all the struggles our students might be going through.
Thanks for connecting Samantha. I know many of us have similar feelings.
Yes. Yes. No words for how much I love this piece.
Your positive words always mean SO much.
And yes, there are boundaries, but there are also times when it was hard. I’m sure you do what you can, Carrie, all those extra people brought in to visit, the extra things like dancing. The kids will feel that love & I know it helps them when they’re missing their moms.
All of it makes a difference. I do believe that.
Well, this slice just tugs at my heart and makes me want to cry. The lives our kids live…and how much more we do in our classrooms every day than just teach the curriculum!
So much more than the curriculum!
I have a student who lost her mom and it’s so stinking hard. She even looks like she could be mine. I do give her hugs, but you remind me that I need to be her teacher. I will be the best I can be for her. Life can be so unfair. And for some reason, every book we read aloud the mom is dead. Why is that?
I think it’s okay that so many books have a Mom that has passed away. It’s pretty lonely to have lost your mom and feels good to see yourself in the pages of a book.
Love this piece and all the emotions it creates in me. I’ve been in those same shoes. I respect your boundaries. I’ve never been good at creating those in my life. I love that you have and creating them will make you a stronger teacher and person. Thank you for these words
It is very hard. And I might not do it perfectly but without them, I would have 14 bedrooms in my house!
This hits me right in the feels, as they say. It’s a job hazard for sure, but also what makes the job worth doing. I am sure, because I can feel it in your words, that you are a meaningful person in the lives of your students. I’m sure you do more for them than you will ever know. Thank you for all you do for them.
I am equally blessed to have the opportunity.
Oh how this tugs at my heart. Beautiful!
Thank you Julie
I never completely understood the presence of a mom NOT until I became one, but when I became a teacher. Wonderful post, Carrie.
Thanks Leigh Anne. It was an emotional one for me.
Oh my gosh, my heart goes out to these little souls. Thank goodness they have a caring, present, predictable role model in you.
All kids need lots of people who love them.
This breaks my heart. I know, oh too well, what you are feeling. You are giving these children a safe place to learn, grow, and be loved.
So many of us who are educators do. Sigh.
Today I sat with one of our eighth graders, who has been really difficult lately. I asked her what was going on with her. She told me she missed her mom. Her dad isn’t in her life, and now she feels like her mom, who has three younger children, doesn’t have time for her either. Her eyes filled with tears, and mine did too. Your piece breaks my heart. I’m glad your students have
a teachermom/momteacher like you
It’s hard. Lots of it.
Breaks. My. Heart. The stories we hear at school seem … just so unfair. There have been plenty that I wanted to take home too. It’s so hard, but I know that you are doing all that you can for these children at school. That is good for them — to know they are loved. No matter what.
We need to care very very deeply.
Such a hard line. It’s heartbreaking to hear their stories. You’re listening…they know you love them and care. Then to find the place to teach them from. This was a beautiful piece…thank you for sharing
Thank you for reading. Sharing all of these things I am feeling about my classroom and my students is emotional work.
The USA’s “Common Core” will never come close to addressing what’s really important in the lives of the children touched by sensitive educators like you, Carrie.
Unless they rename it – The Connection Core . . .