icebergs

If students could understand that we all are floating along, showing everyone just a small part of who we are, that we too struggle with fear and uncertainty, that there is so much left below the surface that we hide…they may feel better. It’s not just them.
We all ache and feel discomfort and question our purpose and this pushes us into the next decision, the next success or failure and into our next day. We are motivated by the promise of something better which, eventually, does come.

We lost another one of our students to suicide and the student body was stunned into silence today. In contrast our community is loud and has started to blame. “There is something wrong with the school.”  ‘The school’ doesn’t refer to the building. The community blames the administration, the counselors and the teachers. All of us. Nevermind there are other issues below the surface for anyone who makes that choice. Nevermind that mental health issues will rarely receive as much treatment and attention as a broken bone or a case of the flu. What cannot be seen must not be there.
Nevermind that no one knows how many students we help and ‘save’ each week, month and year. No one counts the kids who come back to us, the ones who become safe after long, long periods of very hard work.

We are all hurt. Today we all hold the blame and wonder what could have been done better while knowing, not one of us made that choice for him.

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6 thoughts on “icebergs

  1. A very real issue, with many layers of gray. Dialogue can help; blaming cannot. There is something broken and unhealthy in our culture. Making something whole requires compassion and joy, listening and challenge, acceptance and positive energy. May the universe bring you balm for your suffering, peace in your soul.

  2. It is human nature…or at least our cultural tendency, to desperately place blame as far from our own selves as is possible. We should all be asking questions as to how we can make each life we come in contact with, better, more productive, or, at least, less traumatized by an isolation imposed either externally or internally.
    We have to put down our smart phones, step away from our computers, TV’s, games, work addictions, etc and begin to care, and interact with ourselves and each other in honest, compassionate, face-to-face situations.

  3. I completely agree with the above comments. We are so out of touch with each other, disconnected in such a deep and fundamental way, forgetting the joy of life. I too, am a teacher, striving hard to teach my students to recognize and fully enjoy the beauty around us. I think situations like these serve as reminders of the bigger picture. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of daily life, but truly, every single moment, conversation and interaction we have with any person is crucial. We have to use these tragedies as fuel to propel us to a brighter future. Know in your heart that you’re doing your absolute best, and that one day the sun will shine again.

    • I very much appreciate your comment and encouraging words.
      I agree with you that we are out of touch with each other. I know each generation believes the next is disconnected but it’s so difficult for me to see that as the sole explanation when the kids are changing so very fast. I know there have always been suicides as well. To me, the negative changes in my students seem to be the result of an over-dependence on technology (says the blogger), life-long testing that focuses on ONE correct answer and (where I teach) an over-privileged lifestyle that reduces desire to make an effort, requires commitment to a ridiculous number of extracurricular activities and allows very little freedom to make any mistakes.
      Aahhhh, it’s exhausting!… I can only imagine how they must feel.

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