An educator has touched the heart of many after she shared her experience with one of her students who needed sleep.
According to her, one of her students was given the privilege to sleep in class after she noticed something must be wrong. She claimed her two-year-old child was sick and was in the emergency room all night.
However, many have condemned her act of compassion and questioned why she couldn’t she go home and sleep in her own bed but she made them see beyond the present as she talked about how she used to be homeless and suffered good sleep.
I let one of my students sleep yesterday during class. She NEVER sleeps in my class so I figured something was up. This morning she kept thanking me for letting her rest. Turns out her 2 year old was sick and was in the ER all night. Moral: have compassion for your students.
I never expected this tweet to blow up like it did. I often share my teaching experiences & just saw this as another one. However, some of the comments towards this experience are disgusting & I want to address them.
For the people asking, “why doesn’t she go home & sleep in her own bed?” I hope you realize that a afe & adequate housing is not always available to your students. Homelessness doesn’t always have a certain “look.”
When I was in the 7th grade, my family became homeless as a result of the recession. Because of the McKinney Vento Act, I was bussed from over an hour away to a private magnet school. I was homeless, but still academically gifted.
Eventually, we found shelter with a family friend. But, it was my 5 person family (2 adults + 3 kids) living with a 3 person family (2 adults + 1 kid) in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment. I hope you can imagine that the sleep I got was often not very good sleep.
The guidance counselor was aware of my living situation & would often “call me out of class to talk.” Really, it was her way of just letting me get some rest. Because of her, I was able to still excel academically.
I say all of this to say: I never “looked homeless” & many of my teachers never knew I was homeless. Yet, I was. And I was struggling. But because of the compassion of my guidance counselor, I was able to manage my schooling better.
I currently teach women who are: homeless, being abused, preparing to give their child up for adoption, single parenting 6 children under 8 years old, and the list goes on. If I’m not human enough to recognize their individual situations, I shouldn’t be teaching.
I may not can change the situations of many of my students. But I can ensure my classroom is a stable environment where they feel safe. I know where I came from & I care about their holistic wellbeing, not just how well they write an essay. And I’ll never apologize for that.