So I know often I see and think things differently. So while I was walking this morning I saw this and the empty slot made me think of the missing student.
That missing student comes in various forms and with a variety of reasons.
The most obvious missing student is the one who is absent. The reasons they are missing span an area wider than the Sahara Desert. Maybe they are home sick, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. It maybe that they lack the confidence to face the assignment in class. Or maybe this student lacks the skills to face the bully. Sometimes the student hides in fear at home unable to attend class until the bruises can be hidden and the tears can be dried up. Often one is absent because at a young age they have had to take on an adult world-due to an absent parent who has abandon the family and is busy working to make ends meet. And there is even the possibility that they are missing just because the value of education is not recognized by them or the ones who care for them.
But what about the student whose physical body is in the classroom but they are missing. Once again the reasons why are wide. It maybe that they are the quiet one overshadowed by the squeaky wheel who needs some oil. Or maybe the child who has already mastered the concept who must wait in silence for their classmates to understand. Frequently it is the child who is lost to what is being taught because although they are at a different learning level they are required to struggle through often to the point of frustration at their instructional grade level. Sadly even sometimes maybe it is the student the teacher just can’t take anymore and no longer sees due to the frustration and stress the educational field has.
My prayer as a teacher is that the missing students in my classroom never go unseen and that I can meet them where they are with their needs.