Unfortunately, yesterday I wrote a post about the stresses of being a teacher – dealing with the myriad of people, systems, challenges, and interpersonal relationships that one must carefully navigate in order to get the job done and to obtain a favorable outcome, graduation… – in which I chose to compare the often times stresses of being a teacher to a battlefield. I worried that those outside of teaching / education would not understand the symbolism or that they would think it too harsh or… whatever they would think. And I chose to mostly focus on the positive, those who finished still standing, and dedicated only one line to the harsher reality of those who just barely squeak by:
“And then there is the saddest tiny group that crawl across the field with a whimper and a whine and a slew of burnt bridges, but at least they finish.”
I completely chose the leave out the last group – those who don’t graduate. I thought it too negative, too real for people not in education to deal with. We lose them for many, many reasons. There are dropouts and they drop out for many reasons that we never know about – home life, drugs, apathy, etc. This is a rare thing in my school district and it is easy to ignore because it is so infrequent. Within this group there is another faction – those who are simply lost.
Today, like a cannonball strike, two of our students were killed in a car accident. I did not know them, but that doesn’t have any bearing on the loss that I feel. It doesn’t make it any easier. They were two of ours. By the end of tomorrow’s school day I will know them intimately as students express their memories of them and their anger and sadness at the unfairness of life. It will be very messy, very chaotic, and very difficult to deal with for all involved.
I would like to apologize for the timing of my post and to anyone who has ever lost a person on the battlefield of life. It does not go unnoticed. It is not fair. They are missed and mourned.