Even though I know that I am right where I am supposed to be, I am struggling with wondering if my feet are in the right place.
You see, I am torn between two worlds. The writing world and the education world. I love both, almost equally.
Writing gives me an escape from reality. Working with kids at school gives me a healthy dose of a reality I wish was only fictional.
I've spent fifteen years in the education world. Most of that time has been with at-risk students. The definition of at-risk students vary from school to school and district to district, but this year, I've been working at my children's school as a paraeducator. And I've seen the reality of the foster care system, trauma, and social-emotional care (or lack thereof) up close and personal.
I've also seen growth. Students who came into 2nd grade not even knowing how to write their name are leaving with basic phonics skills - and being able to name all their letters. Students who couldn't be out at recess alone due to safety concerns for other students are now interacting in a positive manner on the playground.
But, in just 4 short days, we'll be heading into 104 days of summer vacation. And I am scared. Scared that I won't find the joy in hanging out with my own children. Scared that these students who are now eager to learn won't nurture their brains over summer vacation. And I am scared that the social skills we've built through consistent routines will have to be retaught in the fall.
Teachers, what do you worry about over the summer?