My Heart Hurts for Students as the Year Winds Down

My heart is so heavy these days for a handful of our students who are struggling to end strong, get to school every day and stay positive as we wind up another school year.  So many standard responses: change is hard, transitions are difficult, school is better than ambiguous summer days, etc.  Intellectually I absolutely understand all of that.  But it does nothing to ease my heartache.  And impulse to take them all home with me.

Not an option.  I know.  But I dream about it.  A rescue, of sorts.

Some students’ lives are so complicated, so topsy-turvy, so disheveled.

Lots of directions to point fingers and place blame, but that doesn’t interest me.  I’m sure we could point a finger at school (or at me).  I just want to fix it.  But that’s naive, simplistic, VERY Pollyanna.

So my strategies are consistency, tough-love (with an emphasis on one or the other as needed), lots of TLC and communication.  Snacks help and so does a game of Connect-4 during lunch in my office.  And smiles and “Good morning, happy to see you today!” along with a, “Have a great afternoon.  See you tomorrow!”

I stare at my own sons more these days.  Thankful for our messy house, chores & allowance, little league baseball, home-cooked meals (and take-out) and arguments between brothers that end amicably.  For toys in the front yard, homework discussions, conversations over breakfast and movies in the evening.

I cannot bring all our students home with me.  But my heart can hurt for them and move me to action.  I’d love to hear how others support students when the end is difficult.


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