Times of Change

My baby went off to college. How could she? Who told her she was allowed to grow up? Although I am intensely proud of her, I feel this loss that I can’t explain. I know many great parents have felt the same feelings I am feeling today as I wake up from a fitful night of sleep knowing something is missing.

First of all, I want to tell you that my Facebook friends have been unbelievably supportive and fantastic. My sister commiserated with me as I called her the night before the exodus sobbing my eyes out. Her daughter had the nerve to move out the year before. My mom and dad have been wonderful also. Dad assuaged my tears and worries with a wonderful dinner of cavatelli and calamari. Food serves as my father’s words.

All this because my beautiful daughter is growing up, achieving great things academically, striving to make a future for herself, and demonstrating bravery by leaving her safe home and loving parents to enter the unknown world of academia. Ridiculous really when you think about it. I am so very proud.

So…back to education. Many of our students and their families do not understand the importance of remaining in the same school throughout their children’s years of education. Students living in poverty move around a lot. This is mainly due to financial needs. Whatever the reasons, children are being shuffled around schools throughout their very important formative years. Their building blocks of education are being disrupted and although many dedicated teachers strive to determine learning levels and the best modalities of learning for their students, it is very difficult when you lose and gain students throughout the year.

Teachers form bonds with their students. Like parents, we are responsible for that child’s wellness and development as they grow and change during that year. For teachers that loop with their students or have them for multiple years, the bond is that much greater. I have witnessed amazing growth in students that I have had the opportunity to teach for multiple years. By being in the upperschool hallway, I have taught some students for three-four years because I moved from fifth grade a few years back. When a student is abruptly taken out of our schools, we feel the loss, much like a parent does when their child moves away to college.

How odd really. So many make light of the work teachers and other educators do. They don’t consider the emotional aspect of our job. When a beloved student leaves our schools, for whatever reasons, we feel the loss. The hallways seem to be missing a certain voice, our classrooms are missing a certain smile, and our hearts are missing a certain hug. We worry about our students that leave. We hope and pray that they are receiving the attention they needIMG_1513[1], the smiles they crave, and the education they deserve.

Change is so darn hard!

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