Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs

Our last state standardized test was this morning. One of my students will be taking it as a make-up test because she broke her arm at recess on Friday (I was out!) and is getting a new cast this morning. She is not alone, however.

Another student came up to me first thing this morning to say that she will be picked up every afternoon for the rest of the year rather than walking home. I didn't think too much about it, just thanked her for letting me know.

She went on to tell me that her home had been broken into yesterday. I immediately dropped what I was doing and gave her my full attention. She's been having some significant family problems all year and I have been amazed with her resilience. Very little was taken during the break-in, only some important papers and a ring. The computer, XBox, PS2, and such were all left behind. As a result, she is terrified that her family was the target, not their things.

Because today is a test, one of my first reactions was to call our assistant principal for advice. I did also email our counselor so that she could talk to this student sometime today. I'm so lucky to have an administration that is understanding and proactive. Our AP came right down and talked with my student. They jointly decided that she should take the time to talk to the counselor, we would call her family to touch base and see if there is anything more we could do, and she will take the test another day. Everyone seemed comfortable with these decisions.

It just saddens me that one of my first reactions had to be to think about this test. I'm glad she doesn't have to sit down and take it right now, after all of this, but how different will things be tomorrow or the next day. How meaningful will this test score be? And how many other students have issues distracting them that they are not willing to share publicly?

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