After a little bit of reflection, it felt like something was missing-- I've updated some parts, with purple text.
A last resort?
"What do you do with the child who does not respond to tutoring, counseling support, mentor support, has already been retained, and has been placed in special education? When it's a symptom of their home culture, how do you reach them when he or she seemingly refuses to learn what you have to teach?"Some educators would argue that, that's just not even possible; every child is open to learning; and of course there are child study teams, social workers on campus, and child protective services to help, but this was the question I posed for one of my professors while working on my teaching credential many years ago.
It had been a very challenging week-- a third grade student in one of my mentor classrooms announced to the class that his birthday wish was to be dead.
In all of my glorious, let-me-save-the-world, naivete, I couldn't handle it. I had never heard a child speak about depression, despair, or suffering. I had never heard a child speak of suicide as an option.
What I did know, was that this-- although new to me at the time--was now going be an additional challenge to overcome while faced with the pressure of the state exam. I immediately felt completely helpless. So I brought it to my professor:
"Prayer" she answered, "Pray for them."
Now, a little bit about me, and my views: I am completely one hundred percent against religion in the classroom; I believe in the separation of church and state. In fact, I am "one of those people" who totally support that little girl who refused to say the pledge because of the "one nation under God" line.
Oh, still reading? OK, so, for me, there's a sense of camaraderie with a side of humor between my fellow educators, when the answer to such extreme situations is "pray"; it just seems so often to be a desperate, last resort: