Many years ago, I taught second grade with the most needy group of kids….I think only 2 of my students lived with both parents and 5 students had a parent in jail that year. I had students that loved to fight, thought nothing of yelling at one another, and were high energy. As a new teacher, it was tough. But I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
I was thinking about one of those students this week. He was rough. He had been hurt. He was angry. The closer we got to the end of school, the angrier he seemed and the more out of control he was. You know why? School was ending. Structure was ending. Meals were ending. Friends were leaving. I wouldn’t be there. See…we are more than teachers. We are influencers. We shape dreams. We cast visions for who they can be…not just who they are.
I’m challenging myself this year…instead of talking about how excited I am for summer, I’m going to focus on telling kids how much I will miss them. Children need to know they are valued…you may be the only one who tells them.