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Residual Trauma

It’s hard to describe to someone who has never taught in a public school the burdens of working so closely with students who have faced trauma. The heavy weight of knowing a student’s story and trying to balance that with the burdens of teaching can take a toll that is rarely discussed. Today, that toll was written all over the face my of my student teacher. I’m not really sure why I thought to write this down, but I think it’s important to remember that we are not immune to the residual effects of our students’ lives. 

Today I spent quite a portion of my first hour checking in with students who I don’t see on a regular basis and reminding them that we are testing on Tuesday. This made me feel more like a used car salesman than anything else. I had to try to convince them that they should come in on a day when most of the school doesn’t have to attend. I hate that this was my idea. But at the same time I’m not really sure what else we would have done to complete testing in a more efficient manner. I agree with the students that it isn’t fair that they have to come in to school and a massive portion of the building doesn’t. However, taking the students out of classes where they would have to stay after school and make up tests and homework seems outrageous and unethical. Anyway, I think we are as ready as we are going to be for testing day. I’m still more concerned that we have not been assigned rooms for the speaking tests and make-up sessions that will be performed in the following weeks. 

On a final note, I am starting to mentally prepare to take over after my student teacher leaves. Her final day is next week, so I am starting to slowly return to my normal routine here. While I enjoyed having the extra help at times, I am excited to get back into the groove. 

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