Parent-teacher conferences were this week, and I’m exhausted. Whew!
I love meeting the parents and figuring out ways to assist the students, but I also just get worn down. It’s an intense process of a series 3-4 hour meetings after teaching each day.
However, what strikes me the most every year is how much my students have gone through in their young lives: beatings, emotional abuse, rapes, gangs, disorders, living with grandparents, death, loss, and more.
I heard a fellow colleague wondering why a certain student “even comes to school,” and after talking to his grandmother I think his showing up is a minor victory. His father is finally out of the picture (grandma won in court), his sister is back in rehab, his bruises are healing, and he’s finally eating three meals a day. School is a safe haven–not a place where he may be successful if measured by grades–and he attends for a semblance of normalcy, safety, and positive social interaction.
Not every student is going to be a Horatio Alger story, and I wonder how these students will function in the future. Where will they find success?