Silence is all I have after finishing the book "One Child," by Torey Hayden. This book was beautifully written and took me on an emotional roller coaster. The beginning of this book Hayden brought the reader into her old, squished and inadequate classroom like we were right there beside her. She descriptively described the way the room was set up, exactly how many desks, chairs, bookshelves, and windows there were in this long narrow "classroom". This long narrow room became home for nine very different children. This new home for the students became an inspiring and discouraging place Torey. While reading the first section of this book I was astonished by the amount of control Torey had on her students, minus Sheila in the beginning of it all. All eight students, Torey had begun the year with, were clam, attentive and eager to learn. Torey had their full attention because she had developed a trusting relationship, a relationship that was rooted in her love for them and her desire for them to learn and love themselves. .
While her ways of teaching and reaching a child worked easily on her first eight students, Sheila was a different story. Sheila was a difficult, violent, hopeless child. Sheila had been raised by very emotionally, physically and mentally abusive parents. Throughout the story we learn a little about Sheila's relationship with her mom. It was non-existent. ""Here, I'll show you." She lifted the other leg up and pointed to a scar. "My Mama she take me out on the road and leave me there. She push me out of the car and I fall down so's a rock cutted up my right leg."" Said Sheila while telling Torey about her mom for the first time (Hayden, p91). This quote by Sheila really made me begin to think about the realistic possibility of this story being a student of my own. All I could think about while hearing this story about her mom was how well Torey handled it.