Posted by: bwoof | October 2, 2009

Bus tickets….did you know?

Today I learned that I can be disappointed when students still don’t ‘get it’ even after all our work this week to support, coach, coax, cajole, encourage etc. But, in education, like parenting, you have to have long view and invest in the future, not the present.

Yesterday was an interesting learning day and I wrote about it in our school’s weekly memo for staff. I want to remember the lesson so I’ll tell it here, a day later.

Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.

For instance, this week we had several students who really needed bus tickets, among other things. We didn’t have any…our needy student fund is dry at the moment.

hsrThe need was still there so I decided that to get the bus tickets myself. Having never done such a thing (honestly!) I soon learned that I was out of my comfort zone. A few dumb questions later, and I figured out that one needs to go to the variety store. I did that but had to stop for money first, and that little detour took me close to Rexall where I suddenly spotted the yellow and black HSR sign. “Ticket Agent”, it said.

So, I headed inside. “100 tickets please,” I asked.busticket

The clerk looked faintly amused. “Well, how do you want them,” she asked. Huh? How? I have no idea! Aren’t tickets just tickets? And, by the way, how much do they cost?

I eventually learned that you buy them in strips of 5, $7.50 per strip for student tickets.

There are three points to this story.

First, I know very little about real living other than my own little comfy middle-class world. Sobering.

Second, buying bus tickets is a life skill for many and I need to make sure that I respect that reality.

And third, there are still hungry kids at my school. They don’t wear neon signs to let you know in advance, but they might be agitated, angry, perhaps even disrespectful.

But today I saw the difference that a couple of bus tickets made. And then there was the milk from the wonderful caf lady, and then the bag of clothes from a kind teacher who knew that what the kid was wearing on his back was all he had…and it needed laundering.

I was the lucky one who got to see the smile, privately, quietly, and genuine.

Grateful for:

  • my family and a heritage
  • a teacher who understands teens and seeks to learn the stories first before reacting
  • Our Science Dept and their willingness to shift plans gracefully and graciously

Curious about:

  • how do young families with kids and baby gear take the bus without going crazy?
  • will J be well enough to play in tonight’s season opener
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