First full week of school and it was filled with challenges. Yea, I got sucked into the whining and complaining with the other teachers. My class roster changed so many times this week, I actually lost who was in my class and who was not. I have under printed several times and then compensated and over printed materials. Argh.
After school, I helped clean out the football ticket booth. It had become a dumping grounds for just about everything. We store our tennis gear in there between practices and matches. Football stores their tables and chairs in their for ticket nights. Cross country stores cones to mark lanes. I even found a few things I had no clues how to identify.
At the corner of the ticket booth is where the new freshman passed away a week before school started. She was on the cross country team and had just finished 3 miles of practice running when her team mates found her dead. The memorial placed by her friends, team mates and family was still there. Over the past week, I took it upon myself to remove the dead flowers, change the water and make it look fresh.
I cleaned the inside of the booth, went outside, started cleaning the area round the booth and found a note someone had left for the memorial. “We are going to miss you. Love XOXO” The note had blown through the fence and was laying against a tree covered by a bit of pine straw. Was this from a close friend? Team mate? Family member? Or, just a fellow class mate?
I have thought about that note several times tonight. “We are going to miss you.” Six simple words, but those six simple words carried with them such power tonight.
If I were to not come to school, would my students miss me? Would my students really care if I were gone? After all, it is only the first week of school. They don’t know me. I get a lot of kids that come by every day from previous classes and get hugs, fist bumps, high fives, and such. But….. what about the new kids.
I had a lot of kids absent this first week. Did they not make it back from vacation? Was something going on at home? Have I missed them? I have to say, I don’t know because I don’t know all of them yet.
This first week is gone. There are 35 more until summer vacation. I only have 35 more weeks to make sure these kids know they are missed. I need to get to know what is going on, make the connection and let them know they matter. It really doesn’t matter if they miss me or not, but they need to know they will be missed.