You Don’t Know Everything


“You don’t know everything Ms. Johnson!”

“I know everything that goes on in my classroom!”

“Oh you do!?!?! You know all about your students?

Do you know what they deal with outside of these four walls? I don’t think so!”


Let’s take Isabella, do you know all about her?

Did you know she’s a single teenage mother?

Struggling to take care of her child, mother, and herself?

Working the 9-5 and I’m not talking about the daytime

Straight from school to the house

Cooking, cleaning, doing homework and trying to find a babysitter

Her shift starts in an hour so she makes the long walk to the bus stop that takes her across town

Come home and all she has is 3 hours to sleep before she heads right back to school

Just to start the routine over and over again

Oh but you knew that right?


What about Johnny over here?

Did you know at home he’s being abused?

Not just verbal abuse, but vicious, agonizing physical abuse

Constantly wearing long sleeves to hide all the pain

The bruises, the cigar burns, and lashes that cry out HELP ME!!
But where can he go? His mother left when she had the chance

He has no idea where she is and can’t find any family to run to?

He goes to the cops, his father goes to jail

Then he goes to Foster Care

But he doesn't’t want that for some reason

For some reason, he still sees the good inside his father

So he copes and survives

So you knew that too?


And Kurt…You see, he is an orphan

He was abandoned by his parents when he was little

You know those scenes in movies

Where the child is left on the doorstep?

You would think this happens only in movies

No see that is 100% real and true because that’s what happened to Kurt

Now he goes day by day trying to find someone to love him

The house mother is severely verbally abusive

“You’re nothing but a doorstep baby!

You will never mount to anything in life!

No one will ever come for you or love you!”

But he still believes that someone will come for him

But that constant question that runs like a midnight train through his mind is; When?


You see, this may be your classroom, but we are your students

Sometimes, there are thing you don’t know

Reasons that you possibly couldn't’t think would happened, but it does

And it’s about time that you knew even though we are not adults

We too have problems and responsibilities that are almost too great to handle.



My favorite part about writing this poem was going to depth about each student. I felt it was important to tell the story behind each student rather than just saying "She has a kid, he was bullied, he has no parents", because it's deeper than that and that is where my inspiration comes from. Telling the stories for those who can't themselves. 

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