What really matters

Author: Vera Dudi-Koto
Location: Ostrava
I’ve been working at this school as a teaching assistant for five years now, but my best experience happened last year.
For three years I’ve had a white pupil in my class. His name is Stana, and he is dyslexic, and not very healthy either – but that is not what I want to talk about. Let me go back to what happened. Ever since then I have known that I am needed – by him and by the others too.
I had been ill, and returned to work after two weeks of sick leave. The hours passed by, and then at the main morning break something horrible happened: Stána started cursing a schoolmate, a girl who is deaf. I called him in and asked him why. He wouldn’t give me the reason.
When the break was over, all the kids came back to the classroom and I again urged Stána to tell me what happened. He kept his mouth shut.
Soon after that, my colleague, a teacher, came in and sat down behind the desk. She asked the children to leave the classroom, and I kept asking Stána what had happened. I put my arm around his shoulders and he laid his head on my arm and told me that the deaf girl had bumped into him and it made him angry.
I explained that to my colleague and comforted Stana.
And suddenly he told me that he had done it because he missed me. I burst into tears and my heart was full of happiness: I understood that the little boy really loved me. I told him that I had missed him, too, and that I like him as well.
I know now that the color of one’s skin does not mean anything. What really matters is how one behaves to others.

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