In response to proposed budget cuts that would eliminate meals for school children, one teacher is outraged. Katherine Gibson Howton decided to share something that most people probably didn’t know about this common practice many teachers participate in out of their own pockets.
We are your children’s teachers. We know that we may have more time with your child than you do. We don’t want them to be hungry, and not just because a hungry child can’t learn but because we care about them. Hungry feels scary.
Almost every teacher I know has a cabinet in their classroom with emergency food for their hungry students. This is the cabinet I share with another teacher, Julie Mack.
Children come into our classroom everyday telling us they are hungry. Many more never say a word because they are embarrassed and it is up to us to notice that they are distracted, tired, grumpy. Skilled and compassionate teachers learn to ask if there is food in the house and ‘when was the last time you ate?’
And the really skilled teachers just know when to make an extra sandwich, grab an orange, make a bag of popcorn or bowl of oatmeal, and set it in front of a student and tell them to eat. And YES, that is a jar of peanut butter. It has not been a problem.”
Thousands of teachers shared and commented on her post, arguing that only caring about a child’s hunger “because it might impact their ability to learn is barbaric.”
“People should care that children are going hungry. Period.” Argues another teacher. People should care that some families struggle to keep their rents paid, and that sometimes, a roof over a child’s head or a hot meal is the choice that these families have to make.
Parents have also shared her post, saying that teachers like her shouldn’t have to use their own paychecks to feed hungry children. Others, who admit that they don’t have children of their own, want to know how society has come together and decided the children going hungry isn’t a concern.
What do you think of this teacher’s post?
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