One thing you learn right away about being a teacher is that not all children come from homes where they are sheltered.

One thing you learn right away about being a teacher is that not all children come from homes where they are sheltered. Every child is not given a bath at night, or rocked to a lull-a-bye. Few are read bedtime stories or are tucked into a comfortable bed. Not all are even given dinner. As a mother it breaks my heart that some children are not allowed to be children. Their little worlds are often invaded by harsh realities such as poverty, abuse, and violence, not to mention drug and alcohol addiction and other unpleasant realities. Many go home to drama that we cannot even imagine. These kids often have no schedule, few rules, and no real structure. Yet teachers expect them to perform at the same extent as little Johnny and Susie that have the best life possible with everything in place that they need to succeed. The playing field is not level and the reality that each child endures is not the same. My parents were on top of all situations. They were committed to being the best parents they could be and they were devoted to each other to raise a loving family. Yet, the very idea of family has changed over the decades. Families seldom consist of Mom and Dad living under one roof. That is not to say that a family has to be broken. Single parents are often given a bad rap, but as a single parent I can tell you that you can raise a child in a good environment by yourself. Is it an ideal situation? Probably not, but having two parents does not imply that children will have a better life; especially if both parents are not pulling together to do what is in the best interest of the child or children. I cannot change the reality that my students live in daily. I cannot fix their home life or the problems in it. Nor can I shelter them from the cruelties of the world. All I can do is listen without judgment and help when possible. A little bit of love and kindness can heal or at the very least put a bandage on the hurt that exists. As a parent, you are your child's keeper only for a short amount of time. You have a limited amount of days to allow them to be children. Revel in their naiveté. Read an extra story, let them crawl into bed with you occasionally, rock them until they are too big to sit on your lap. You are responsible for their reality. Shelter them from a world that they will know all too soon.