Some days, being a teacher, really sucks. One of my students is living at home with only his sixteen year old brother for most of the time. Their father is a fly in fly out mine worker in another state, at least a five hour air flight away, plus road time. He is home every second weekend.
The rest of the time the boys are home alone. The older brother has an after school job and is not home in the evenings, so the younger boy, eighth grade, is home alone. There is a grandfather who drops the 16 year old home at night, but doesn’t live with the boys. Mum is goodness knows where.
Naturally, the boys are staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning, and then Yr 8 is coming to school so tired he is lying with his head on the desk in class. I have him for a learning support class so he has a heap of problems to start with and is extremely disengaged.
I reported my concerns to administration and they spoke with said child, who then said a “friend” of his Dad’s was caring for them too. I was pretty direct in my conversation with the boy, asking several times if anyone else was in the house and each time he said no; so I have reported my scepticism of said friend’s existence.
What really sucks, is that I am here, at home, worrying about that child when his own damn parents aren’t. It is easy to see how this is going to evolve – next thing he won’t be coming to school every day and then he will be a drop out, if not worse.
Like I said, some days being a teacher really sucks.