Leaving School For Summer

Leaving School For Summer

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching. The excitement is palpable. So many fun activities are planned to end the year in a high note. Everyone is counting down the days!

The end of the year isn’t exciting for everyone, though. Both students and teachers, while they show excitement on their faces, can have a different feeling about this time of year.

There are actually some students who dread holiday and summer breaks.

For some students, their only meals come from school. They know that once they are home, meals aren’t guaranteed. Some students only hear kind words at school. It’s the only place that anyone will tell them good morning. It’s the only place that anyone will tell them to have a great weekend. Teachers are sometimes the only people to say that we are excited to see the students.

Without school, many students lose their safe space. They grow close with teachers, form bonds, and begin to trust teachers. Teachers are often like their counselors. Teachers are the ones they talk to when they are in need or crisis. Once they leave, they often have no one to fill that space for them.

For teachers, while ready for a break, the experience can be similar to grief. We spend 180 days with these children. They are with us 8 hours a day. These children become much like our own children. We love them very much the same. Saying goodbye to our children is never easy. This is especially true when you teach at the highest level of a school. My babies are moving on to high school, and I won’t see them walking the halls anymore. It’s a terribly sad thought.

Leaving School For Summer, summer break

We often know that many of our students’ need aren’t being met. Teachers worry about students every summer, every holiday. There have been times I’ve lost sleep over my students’ wellbeing. Many times, I have hoped to run into students just to be sure they are okay. I’ve emailed and called parents during breaks just to check in.

There is also some dread and anxiety that comes with the end of the year.

We never quite know what the next will hold. We pack up our classrooms for the year not knowing that we will be in the same place next year. We think about the children we may receive in August. Sometimes we already know those children, and we just don’t know how we will handle it. Changes happen over the summer, and it’s not always certain that the situation will remain the same. Will new staff member mesh as well as the old ones did? Will our new administrators handle things with as much grace as we deserve? We just never know.

As a parent, I love having my children home for summers and breaks. But at the same time, I have to keep in mind that not all students are as fortunate. Not all teachers are as excited as they may seem. Please keep both in mind as you and your children leave school for the final time this year.

Teachers, give your students some grace if they begin to get anxious or act out. Parents, give your teachers some grace if they struggle to stay goodbye.

On the same note, though, please enjoy your children this summer. August will be here all too soon…


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