Brooke Goins, a teacher from Caryville, TN, recently shared an experience that will make your heart ache and melt all at the same time. In a now-viral Facebook post, she explained what happened when one of her students opened up to her about not having enough to eat.
"Today I cried at work. Not because I hate my job, or that it is just too hard (it really is). Today, I cried for a child, a child who so innocently talked about food, and the lack of it," she wrote. "He asked when the lady that puts food in his backpack was coming. It caught me off guard, because it is our guidance counselor and I wasn't sure what he needed. I told him I wasn't sure about this week since it is a short week."
After speaking with the student further, Brooke realized she needed to take action. "He told me he was out of it at home and needed more. Of course, I asked what was in the bag that he liked so much. I asked if it was the macaroni bowls or the crackers, he said no. I asked if it was the SpaghettiOs, he laughed and told me no that they didn't have those," she said. "Then it happened. He looked at me and said, 'Those little Os (as he made a small circle with his hand), we don't have those at my house, but when I do have them they give me a warm belly and help me sleep.' I lost it, I cried in front of 20 little people. No kid should ever be hungry, ever."
"Today, I cried for a child, a child who so innocently talked about food, and the lack of it."
Feeling understandably emotional and ready to take action, she reached out to a group of teachers who had no issue stepping up to the plate. "I immediately sent a text to my group full of teachers. Remember hearing people say that we spend all of our money in our classrooms? We spend it to make sure that our kids have what they need to succeed, and today we bought food," she said. "Yep, we put our money together and made sure that this sweet baby had some SpaghettiOs!"
To be absolutely clear, Brooke isn't looking for a pat on the back - she just wants to help a student in need. "I did not write this for anyone to get praise, nobody did it for the praise," she explained. "I want people to know that teachers are humans, we love your kids and want the very best for them. Some days we get frustrated and feel overwhelmed, but today we did what was best for a child. Will it show on a test score? Nope! Do we care? Nope!"
"Today I'm thankful for all of my people at school, big and little. It takes a village, it really does," she said. "It's a crazy rollercoaster of emotions being a teacher, but today it was worth every tear that fell to see him light up when that bag was put into his backpack! Teachers, keep your heads up YOU ARE making a difference! We are all exhausted, but we push forward each and every day."