Today was one of those days where my job felt bigger than me, where the obstacles felt insurmountable, where I left the building wondering, “What are we doing here?” For me, these days are rare. But, today was one of those days.
I sat in meeting after meeting with my colleagues, looking at assessment data and talking about kids. We discussed a lot of kids who are not quite meeting the benchmark, a lot of kids who are “struggling readers”. So many of their stories started the same way. Too many.
He has a lot of absences.
She’s missed over 30 days of school.
They live in a shelter.
He has witnessed some violence.
She never went to school last year.
When they came to our district, they were homeless.
Story after story after story.
I am not one to make excuses or to blame outside influences. I’m not pointing the finger. I’m certainly not giving up. I’m not.
It’s just that it feels like the odds are so stacked against these kids, and they’re seven years old. I listen to the stories of their lives, and think of course they can’t read. It’s a wonder they even show up.
I’m not quitting these kids. I’m not throwing my hands up in surrender.
But today, it felt like the challenges were too great, the problems too deeply rooted. Today was one of those days.