These next few days will be the last most of us will see of our students until 2016. When we enter our classrooms this week, we’ll find students who are anxious. Many are anxious for a time of holiday celebration. Many are anxious for a break from school and time to relax. Mixed with these emotions for many will be an anxiety of another kind. For two weeks, many of our students will be away from a trustworthy source of daily meals–the school lunch program. The certainty of teacher responses throughout the day may be replaced with uncertain responses from parents for whom the holidays mean extra stress. The comfort of a daily routine may be replaced with the stress of hectic holiday schedules.
While we as teachers cannot ameliorate every need or anxiety that our students have, we can make the next few days something to remember. The love and care that we show our students this week can carry them through the rest of 2015. The memories made this week will color our students’ holiday breaks and affect their view of school as they return after the new year.
So, during this week that often brings added stress to teachers, let us remember that students are facing added anxiety as well. We may find that a quote I’ve seen on social media plays out in our classrooms this week: “The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.” In our classrooms this week, let’s chose love, let’s chose kindness, and let’s chose to make sure our students, individually, know how important they are to us. For some, it may make a whole world of difference.