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The Reality of Stress

November 4, 2012

I hadn’t actually planned on taking a hiatus from my blog, but life got in the way these past few weeks. In the past, things like children’s birthdays, soccer playoffs, and Girl Scouts were enough to throw life off-balance for a few weeks; now that I’m working full-time, keeping some sort of equilibrium is barely possible. Ironically, it’s only now that I’ve finally succumbed to the germs of the classroom (which I wrote about here) that I finally have some forced downtime.

As much as I want to (and do) whine sometimes about how busy and stressful life has become with my new job, my students are giving me a reality check. After all, I’m a grown-up. My life is bound to have stress and I have the experience and strength to handle that stress. What I’m finding is that my students have just as much stress as I do–some even more.

Each of my students has a loving family and grown-ups who care about them. A few students have the normal stress, both good and bad, associated with family life and being a kid: siblings, school work, birthdays, sports. That’s all stuff American kids are expected to deal with, the way it should be. But others have so much more it puts my whining to shame.

One of my students is in the process of moving. She couldn’t even come to school in proper uniform because her dad had packed her clothes. Add to this her worry about her mom whose out-of-state living arrangements with a “friend” aren’t working out. Then there’s the kid whose family didn’t have water for three days. And this came after a week of being without Mom who’d had to leave to care for a father who had a heart attack. Another of my students has a father who is constantly traveling for work. Every day’s prayer request is that he will come home.

This is just a sampling of what I see in a class of eight students. I know those of you with bigger classes see much more–and much worse. It’s a sobering thought. And a reminder to count my blessings and stop my own whining. After all, it’s possible that on some days school may be the least stressful place for a child to be–and I may be the least stressful adult.


From → Ponderings

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