Saturday, January 27, 2018
Saturday Sayings: No Breaks
I woke up Monday morning to an email with news that a good friend from church unexpectedly passed away the night before. Life doesn't give teachers a break, so after many tears and prayers, I headed to school and spent the day teaching 25 first graders with a surprising amount of both patience and energy.
Even though I managed okay in the classroom throughout the week, I found it difficult to concentrate on any kind of evening schoolwork that needed my attention. In the midst of my struggle, I couldn't help but reflect on my students -- on this generation of students.
In the past few months I've heard statistics regarding the percentage of students who have experienced trauma. Though I can't recall the number, I remember my reaction. That's way too high. Our students, both young and old, are carrying around a lot of baggage.
If I, with my adult-sized willpower and ability to process, struggles to concentrate on school-ish tasks when in the midst of crisis, how much more of a challenge do our students face when required to physically and mentally inhabit a space that feels trivial compared to the load they bear. As the adult in the room with a long list of tasks to accomplish, I'm guilty of forgetting this and pushing on regardless.
Sometimes if we're paying attention, we'll notice that life sends us the gift of perspective, and more importantly, empathy. That's what my week did for me. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is the real deal as much for me as it is for my students. I'm reminded of the need to investigate, listen, offer some wiggle room for those bad moments or even bad days, because life doesn't give students a break either.
Dedicated to my friend, Ryan, who always took such great care of the sprinkles on the sound cupcake. You will be both dearly missed and remembered. Know that we'll take good care of Vaness and the boys.