Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Do You Do?

What do you do if a student asks you if they ever find shoes in the lost and found box? Do you tell him that there is no lost and found box in this building? That sometimes the custodians will save something in their closet, but often they just throw it away? Like underwear and towels on the locker room floor.

What do you do if a student holds out his foot and says, "I've got a problem." And the end of his shoe flops open with each step, the whole end opens like an alligator's mouth, showing toe teeth. Do you tell him that you might check at home to see if you have any shoes your boys have outgrown? Because you give such items to your mom, who gives them to her neighbor, who gives them to her daughter for her grandsons, unless they don't fit, and she passes them to a friend in a neighboring town.

What do you do if this conversation takes place in the presence of the entire class, need overruling embarrassment? And nobody seems surprised or offers to assist the shoe kid, because there but for a single paycheck might be them.

What do you do if the shoe kid is only in ninth grade, and can not get a job, and can not drive himself to a thrift store, and will be wearing that alligator shoe until it swallows his ankle and he can no longer walk in it?

What do you do if your state is trying to make it a crime to even communicate with students on social media, and helping one might be construed as giving gifts in order to groom one for ulterior purposes?

What do you do if it hurts your heart to think of Mr. Alligator Shoe walking around with his sole flapping with each step?

What do you do if you think bringing in outgrown shoes might hurt feelings or look like you're passing off your worn-out shoes as charity?

What do you do if Mr. Alligator Shoe says, "What's up?" the next day when you call him aside in the hall to tell him there's good news and bad news: you found one pair of shoes a size too small, and another a size too large?

What do you do if Mr. Alligator Shoe tries on a pair of outgrown shoes in front of several peers, and says, "These are good. Can I take my old shoes to my locker? They're gonna be swim shoes now."

What do you do if Mr. Alligator Shoe says in class later in the day, "These shoes are SO comfortable. How do they look? My toe comes to here. Maybe that's what broke my other ones. They were too little."

You think that maybe, this one time, it was OK to get involved.


Kat said...

I think it was absolutely the right thing to do. How sad for the student that he was having to wear shoes that were too small and worn out. It was very kind of you to bring him shoes and help him out. As my granddaughter would say "You rock Hillbilly Mom" .

Hillbilly Mom said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. A student once drew a picture of me with the caption, "You ROCK!" I was holding an electric guitar, and my head was terribly misshapen. But far be it from me to criticize a sixth-grade budding artist. That's why I rock.

labbie1 said...

You do exactly what you did! You didn't make a big deal of it. You saw a need and answered it. Besides--at that age, 1 size large isn't for very long! We help each other the best that we can and that is humanity...I LOVE the part that he wasn't going to just discard the offending objects--he had another use for them! Seems like a good kid! Kudos! YOU ROCK!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Thanks for saying I rock. Now can you draw me holding an electric guitar? But make my head is the right shape, please.