Monday, November 2, 2009

Orange Shoes

Today during library lesson we heard a book called Orange Shoes. Nova is gonna kill me because I can't site any important information about it just that it was a wonderful book. Basically the book was about a little girl from long ago who had to carry her lunch in a pail and walk to school on dirt roads with no shoes. It's like the famous, "And we walked to school, in the snow, uphill both ways..." saga. Her family had to choose between shoes and tires and when they found out the school was having a fundraiser using shoe boxes and that the kids needed shoes to participate the family decided to buy 2 tires instead of 4 and some new shoes for their daughter.

The kids in my class were just in awe of this story; they even clapped at the end. They couldn't believe that someone could go to school with no shoes on. And it really made me appreciate how far we have come as a society in some ways.

I get so discouraged with manners of others; people don't open doors for one another. I get on my soap box a lot about the way people treat others and often forget to find the good in what other people do for each other. When was the last time you saw a student head out to school walking, uphill, without shoes (in the snow)? I bet it's been awhile, and honestly I bet most of us have never seen it.

So, our society is doing some good. We make sure these kids are clothed and fed each day. They are offered 2 free meals a day. Some kids get backpacks full of food for the weekend or are given the opportunity to go to a place to pick out new clothes so they don't have to wear ratty stuff or things that are too big or small. Kids are provided coats, hats, gloves, even Christmas presents if they are really in need. And although we don't meet the needs of every kid all the time, we do try. We work to make the world a little bit better one kid at a time.

As a teacher, I've never accepted the "you can't change society" excuse. In my opinion, we do. Each day we make a kid smile, we teach one more thing than the day before, and little by little we shape and mold tomorrow. Taking the time to look at our school, I am proud to be part of the fact that each kid wears shoes each day, no one walks cold and alone to school, kids are fed and sent home with food for the weekend. And don't you think they will remember that? Don't you think society is a little better because 1 child gets to eat? I do and that's why I do what I do.

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