Monday, April 23, 2007

Final Countdown

"How many days of school are left?" they asked.

I already had it on the board! 20 more days of school 'til summer. Well, less, if you count my way.

I don't count today. I don't count the last day. Therefore, there are only 18 days left of school in my world. Count the way you want, but you'll wait longer than me! I don't care what my fancy counter says, it's less than you think.

It's all about perspective. I guess it all depends on what you're looking forward to.

Students look forward to summer for all the right reasons, but not all of them come true. For many, they're better off in school - with us. This is where they can count on at least 2 hot meals a day. This is where someone else cares about what they're doing and why they're doing it. This is where they see their friends, and find a way to belong. This is where they're safe.

For some, the countdown to summer causes stress, anxiety and a sense of forboding. Without a word, I know exactly who these frightened, yet fearless, filled with adolescent angst "babies" are. They're not ready to go, and I'm afraid for them when they leave.

I wish we had more time together. As much as I can't wait for summer, I wouldn't mind if the countdown went in reverse. One more day to get into their heads. One more day to get into their hearts. One more day to make some sort of difference.

Maybe I won't speed up the countdown. After all, I need all the time I have and more.