Last year, one of our seniors passed away a month before graduation. It was a hard time for our students and staff. The seniors who often felt they were grown adults found themselves not knowing what to do or where to turn. The day we came back to school I stood in front of them not knowing how to address them. After a few minutes of silence I told them how much each and everyone of them meant to me, and reminded them my door was always open if they wanted to talk.
That afternoon I sat at my desk trying to focus and grade papers when a girl knocked on my door. I didn't know her, but her friend had told her about our class, and she wanted to know if she could talk for a moment. I told her of course and ushered her in.
The next day, the student who referred her to my room thanked me for welcoming her friend. She was worried about her, but knew that she couldn't give her friend the support she needed.
Often our students just want to hear and know that some one cares about them.