One month out.

We’re a month out from the end of the school year, and I’m already heartbroken. It sounds dumb, probably, that I’m literally in tears over losing my kids. It IS dumb, probably. Sill true, though.

They’ve started to lose it a little bit. More fights, more backtalk, more overwrought emotional exchanges.

A couple of days ago I asked one of my girls if she was feeling okay because she seemed a little off. She said she felt kind of dizzy and congested. I asked if she wanted to go to the nurse; most kids jump at that opportunity, because a break from class is always a nice change. She teared up and said she couldn’t miss a day, that her grades would go down and she couldn’t afford that. I told her that if you’re sick, it’s okay to stay home, it was only one day, she could make it up. She started to cry, saying no no no, she couldn’t, please don’t make her, she couldn’t leave. Finally I got her to stop by saying I wouldn’t make her.

I remember this from last year. I remember how taken aback I was at how they just totally fell apart a few weeks before the year ended. Not all of them, of course, but enough of them that it was really noticeable.

It happens because of instability, or so I’m told. A lot of my kids don’t have stable home lives. Parents aren’t around much, or if they are, they don’t always act like parents. The kids might have huge responsibilities or no responsibilities. They don’t always eat regularly. Violence is not uncommon.

School is a haven. They have a routine, they have expectations to meet, they have food. Summer….who knows?

I’d miss them no matter what. Even the most stable ones with the best home lives, I’ll miss them, just because they’re my kids and I’m attached to them. But I worry about their safety, both physical and emotional, and that makes it so much harder to be excited about the break. Because for some of them, it’s the opposite – school is the break from the trauma of their lives, and summer immerses them in it so deeply that I’m terrified they won’t make it back up for air.


Allison said...

That's so sweet that you care so much. I love teaching language arts.

teachin' said...

I know, I'm totally a big sucker for my kids. But they rock - who wouldn't love them? :)

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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