ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Elementary, Middle School & High School

Student Needs

Updated on November 17, 2014

She Came In With A Bruise

She came in with a bruise on her face. It wasn’t hard to see what had caused it. It was the perfect shape of a large hand. She wasn’t crying at that point. That would come later.

I asked her what happened. “Mom hit me again,” she said, nonchalantly. “I wouldn’t eat my pancakes.”

It saddened me. Just because she wouldn’t eat her breakfast her mother had hit her hard enough to leave a bruise. Why? I know she could have been frustrated. I know she has three more children at home…all under 5. But that doesn’t give her an excuse.

He Had No Coat

He came off the bus smiling. It was 19 degrees outside. He had tennis shoes, jeans with holes in the knees and a long sleeved t-shirt. No coat. No backpack. But he had a smile!

“Where’s your coat?” I asked.

“Couldn’t find it. I think Mom took it away again.” Mom took his coat sometimes to keep him from running away. Sometimes it was the only thing that would keep him at home. This little guy…only five years old…would run away from home to get to school. It was nearly a mile walk. I had to wonder what was going on at home to make him want to run away to school.

He Just Wanted Breakfast

He ran from the bus and into breakfast. He not only took the main dish…a warm waffle today…but he took both of the fruits and the juice, as well. He went into the lunchroom to sit down and eat. Once he had all that gone, he asked if he could have some cereal from the share table. Of course, I told him yes.

“What did you have for supper last night?” I asked him. I didn’t think it would have been much.

“Oh, mommy didn’t wake up. I didn’t have supper. I had some chips then I went to sleep, too. Gosh, I’m hungry!”

This happened way too many times with this little guy. He was tiny, even for a kindergartner. Very thin with circles under his eyes. He looked like he could have stepped out of a Charles Dickenson novel. His mom had back trouble. She took pain pills to relieve the pain. Sometimes…often…she took too many and forgot she had a little boy to take care of.

They All Have Needs


She Came In Crying

She came in crying. Again. Nothing I could do would console her. She cried for nearly an hour. It was hard to do the rest of the group with her crying, but we did it anyway. She finally settled down enough to talk.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Mommy left again. I don’t know why she leaves all the time. Why doesn’t she love me?” Her mom and dad were always fighting. When Mom couldn’t handle she would leave. Often she would come home drunk, or, like today, not come home at all.

She Had Her Own Problems

She was smiling. She always did. She worked hard. Harder than most kids her age. But she never seemed to get it. Just never seemed to understand. Partly because she didn’t speak English very well. Her mom and dad had just come to Kansas from Mexico a year or so ago. They didn’t speak English very well, either. They were afraid to take any classes. They were afraid they would be deported. They had crossed over the border illegally because they just couldn’t let their daughter grow up in their hometown. She would either be killed or sold into sex slavery. At least that’s what they were afraid of. And it could very well be true.

Who Deserves It More?

These are just some of my students. These five year olds come to school with all of this on their minds…some of them with so much more. Yet, they are expected to learn. They are expected to learn as quickly as the student who has two parents who love him with a warm home and maybe a pet or two. They are expected to learn as much as the kids with full tummies. As fast as the ones who know where they will sleep tonight and who know their parents will be waiting for them with a hug and not a slap.

These students give it their all. Some give more than others, but don’t believe for a minute that just because one gives more than another, that means the other doesn’t care as much. Doesn’t want to do as good. Because they all want to do their best…and they are all doing the best they can under the circumstances.

Don't They Deserve It More?


Prisons or Schools?

Something needs to change. My stepfather molested three young women…ages 13 to 24. He is in prison with three warm meals, a warm bed and plenty of exercise and routine. My students can’t count on that. They go hungry and homeless. They have no one caring for them in some cases. Yet, someone who breaks the law and does horrible things to kids has it made. He even has cable television and access to education and things some of my students will never have. He doesn’t have to worry about his electricity getting turned off. He doesn’t have to worry about going hungry. My students do.

If we would change things around and give the money that we give to prisons to children in need, we may not need prisons one day. At least not as many. When we decide to make children our priority and not an afterthought, we may have hope for our future.

Now, I know money isn’t going to help the little girl who is getting beat up by her mother. But maybe if mom had a job or counseling or enough money to care for her children, she wouldn’t be stressed out enough to hit her child. Maybe if our health system were better, instead of throwing drugs at a problem and causing people to become addicted to them, people could be given proper health care. If our mental health system were better, maybe we could find out why a little boy would rather run away from home in the cold than stay with a mother who supposedly loves and cares for him. Maybe if our immigration system were fixed, parents could get the education they need so that their children could get the education they need. Maybe, maybe, maybe….

Maybe one of these days, I’ll have all the answers…

Give Them A Chance



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Maria Antonia profile image

      Antoinette Lee Toscano 3 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      What a powerful commentary on the plight of our nation's children. How do we even begin to fix this problem? I'm overwhelmed trying to even come up with ideas on how to tackle it. I used to tutor 1st and 2nd graders as a way to give back to my community and sometimes there were so many other problems within the home that tutoring became social work and I felt so overwhelmed by having other people's problems dumped in my lap that I had to quit. The people that I was helping felt so relieved to have someone help them to problem solve their lives that they didn't partner with me they left their problems at my door and gave up. They expected me to auto-magically fix the problem and hand them a gift wrapped solution, sucking up all of my free time and invading my sleep with thoughts of how do I fix this problem for...? I've resigned to get back into volunteering as a tutor but setting firm boundaries with the parents in the future. I have compassion for families with problems but one person can't fix broken households, it takes a community of people. God bless you for the work that you are doing and for really seeing these kids for whom they are and what they are challenged with.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Thank you for reading!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Thank you Frank!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This one touched me. I feel so sad when children are mistreated. Thank you...

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      wowyou do come back swinging.. what a write-up up and shared

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Thanks Bill! I'm trying to get back into the swing of's difficult, though!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always good to see you writing something, LaDena! Welcome back.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)