We have only just met, but I have so much I want to know about you, your family, your life. There are so many things I am wondering about, curious about, but do not feel it is my place to ask. I am just your Kindergarten teacher, and how long for, I do not know. If I could, I would ask you:
- When did your family flee your country?
- Were you really running from those whose name I dare not say, but I hear about on the news daily?
- Where were you when your house was bombed? Did you really lose everything?
- Why did you flee to a neighboring country? Did you really go on foot? Were you able to bring anything? Were you really only four years old?
- How did you eventually find your way to the United States? Who assisted you?
- How truly complicated is your family’s life with your sister wheelchair-bound? Your parents not able to find work?
- How does it feel not to have a home of your own? To live with another family who, out of the goodness of their hearts, opened their doors to you. But for how long?
- Do you feel safe in our country? In our community? In this school? In our classroom?
- What do you need from me? How can I help you to feel safe? To feel loved? To feel wanted?
- When will you stop calling me “Teacher,” and start using my name?
- How is it that you arrive at school each day, skipping down the hallway, excited for the day ahead and what it will bring?
- How long will you bless our class and our school with those enormous, sad, brown eyes that have seen more in your brief six years on this planet than I will in a lifetime?
If I could, I’d ask you these questions, because I truly want to know. I care. I am worried. I don’t know how to help you, your family, your country. Please let me help.
Mrs. Wyman, your teacher