Guest-blogging at NYC Educator, teacher Yo, Miss! wonders if she should anonymously help this student’s family:

“When are you putting up your Christmas tree, Stacey?” Tiffany asked. (Not their real names.)

“Oh,” Stacey said softly, “um, I don’t know.”

“I thought we were late!” Tiffany exclaimed. “I guess you’ll probably be later than us.”

“It’s not that,” Stacey said. “My dad said we might not have a Christmas tree this year.”

“Why?” Tiffany asked.

“He says we can’t afford one,” Stacey said. “He only gets paid when he works, and he isn’t getting work, really, right now. Like, one or two days a week only, sometimes.”

And two teachers blogging at Daily Kos recently related stories of their students’ fears and realities as their families make tough choices.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.