I kept telling the students about the magic of June..."June People! I Heart June!"
June means graduation! June means vacation! June means beautiful weather and end of the year!
My students just groan. "We don't get a vacation! We have school everyday of summer. We even go on Saturdays!"
To make matters worse... I teach this group of seventh graders... they've been together seven straight years... You'd think they'd be a tight group. But there is this one girl name Sandra...and June 1st is her birthday... and I've got this other boy named Tony... and his father died five years ago on the same day.
So every time June 1st comes along Sandra throws a party and cheers in class and Tony just sits there and thinks about his dead father. I asked Sandra about this... I pulled her aside..."Hey, don't you think you should tone down the birthday celebration this year?"
"Why, it's my birthday?"
"Because of Tony...look at him." (Tony is slumped over in his chair staring at the floor)
Sandra shrugs. "It's not my fault his father died. He's an orphan. That's his problem." (This is a direct quote)
I didn't know what else to say. I've been begging students here for three years to show a little compassion... a little thoughtfulness... a little kindness... I guess... I've been talking to myself.