I started back to work Monday from a nice 2 week break from... teenagers and adult world. I really enjoyed my time with my son and my husband, and right as I start to think I could get used to doing this and enjoying staying home, it's time to head back to work. But I do have to admit, I was eager to get back to seeing colleagues again and these teenagers that most of the time I enjoy. These kids teach me more about myself and what is important in my life then they sometimes even know.
As I get things set up for the semester and thinking about what I want to do to help develop these young kids minds, I happened to come upon some notes/plans I had made with a colleague Joe of mine who had passed away in October. We were developing a time to talk with students where they could discuss and advocate for themselves their actual NEEDS in school. As I read over the notes, I began crying. Alone in my office I sat there and embraced it. Hoping that at that moment someone wouldn't be knocking on my door. It's crazy how grief can just hit you at odd times when certain things are thought of. I miss him, and the conversations we had at the beginning of semesters about how we could ALWAYS improve the ways we helped students. He made me positive again when I just wasn't, he encouraged me to think outside every box for kids, and I don't have that right now because I don't have his encouraging words to keep telling me to keep going. So much of what my job is now, is just fighting for what the REAL LIFE NEEDS are for kids. Something that Joe did every day passionately and always with a smile. Don't get me wrong, the high achieving students need to continue to be challenged, have new inspirations to help them think creatively... but that just isn't the majority of students in schools. Maybe I'm wrong. But we DO HAVE low level learners who will still go out and make a living and be successful. The real "life skills" of how to survive in a world full of people, are just as important. Social skills, life skills, problem solving, and God forbid survival skills, are some of the most essential things needed for our future generations.
My heart hurts too many days now. When some don't want to bend, don't want to listen, and just don't want to acknowledge the "real" struggles and issues that human kind will always have. Neglect, abuse (physical and emotional), stress, learning disabilities, substance abuse, mental health disorders, etc. all are not going away while our world tries to grow, develop, compete, and achieve, for more of the excellence title.
We can't pretend it's ok. In my field of work, I continue to see these issue increasing. I'm in no way saying that kids can't handle things on their own anymore. I'm simply saying the issues at hand are growing because we are failing to acknowledge that the demand on us all as PEOPLE, as INDIVIDUALS, is overwhelming to keep up with.
I am working to cleanse my heart and mind tonight. Remembering that I can only do what I can with the resources I have, and thats the best I can do. I can't control what I have no control over.
Peace, Love, Laughter and Wine :-)