Last week was a very difficult week as I explained in an earlier post; a former student and former co-worker passed away. I was told the student passed due to an asthma attack. I later learned it was so much worse. His death was avoidable and was caused by long term neglect. In one year my cooperating school has lost 3 children in one year due to violence. This was not something I not anyone could prepare for. We as adults don’t expect to attend the funeral of a child. It was never something I had to experience except once and that was due to SIDS. I can count the total number of funerals I have attended on one hand. However the students at my cooperating school have seen so many of their classmates die they are desensitized. One student upon learning my student was dead he said he deserved it for being bad. Hearing that shocked me to my core.
I have learned in a short time teachers don’t just teach. We are expected to parent, counsel, nurse and sometimes police our students. We have to provide students with the love and stability they may not always receive at home. We have to provide advice and guidance to those who trust us above others. We have to be aware of medical concerns that a parent does not have to legally divulge. I have students in my class who I did not know they had asthma or have allergies to peanuts or soy. And the worse part of my job deescalating fights. I have students who fight everyday with classmates for their “place” in line. Student’s who hit each other because someone stepped on their shoes. The reasons for the anger can stem from what children see at home and/or TV. What real life role models do children have this day and age who respond rationally to hardships.
I have found this to be exhausting. I have found myself questioning why I continue. I find myself tossing and turning at night worried about my students. I worry about their present and their futures. It is exhausting and definitely not a profession for those who are not flexible.