This post, by Launa Schweizer a teacher in Brooklyn, New York is lump-in-your-throat essential reading.
Schweizer writes: I realized: those children didn’t need my lessons. Not right away. Instead, they needed school as a refuge. Refuge from dark stairways and flashlights. Refuge from schlepping wet cardboard boxes out of basements. Refuge from a week of cold dinners and no showers. Our school was dry, warm, well-lighted and normal, and they needed simply to be there.