I have a student who is going through a traumatic experience right now. I probably have multiple students for whom this is true and there are, of course, many, many more students everywhere facing a variety of awful things. However, this child's issue was just shared with me and it is tearing me up inside.
(For simplicity's sake I'm going to use the feminine pronoun here because I have more girls in my class than boys.)
I know about what is going on in her life, I've been in touch with the family, the administration is involved, various outside agencies are helping out, our counselor is getting in the mix. We're on top of this.
However, I'm left wondering how best to help her. Does she need me to continue on as though things are fine and keep teaching her first grade stuff? Would it be better if I backed off of academics and spent more time just caring about her? Is it possible to do both? How do I know what to do? My fabulous co-teacher told me that we have to follow the girl's lead to know. Too true. I just hope I'm able to recognize where she wants us to go.