Not my friends.
But my students' friends.
Or the ones who have none. My heart is heavy.
I have three students who are friends. They are rather unique as individuals, yet have similar stories. They carry different colored suitcases, yet have similar baggage. Two of the students no longer attend our school.
And I'm worried about the one because he hasn't been the same since they left him...
I sit in a parent conference and share their child's progress and how well their child is doing academically. The parents are concerned because their child has no friends.
Never invited to birthday parties or sleepovers.
A tear slips out, and the mother asks, "Do you see him...
I walk into the cafeteria.
No matter how hard we stress that no one eats alone, I see a student sitting at a table with others, yet not talking, laughing, or leaning in to share a secret with someone. She is with others, but still...
Middle school is difficult enough without sharing it with friends. These are the kids who break my heart.
I can teach writing skills. I can motivate readers. I can be a positive and highly effective teacher each and every day.
But I can't teach how to not be...
It is in these moments when I feel helpless, when I feel I don't do enough. Why are these kids the ones who need us the most but are the first ones to shut the door?
These are the kids who remind me of why I teach and why I'll return again on Monday.