As you may know already, I am back to teaching special education at our local school district. This week in Math, I was reteaching bar graphing and used an activity that surveyed the students to determine their favorite day of the week. The answer of course expected to be Friday, Saturday or Sunday. When in my small group, the popular answer was Monday, I at first was really surprised. Then I had to consider why they’d choose Monday.
I have come to realize in the last few years that more and more of our school aged population gets consistency in one place… school. A regular routine, attention, the feeling of safety, socialization, and also up to two stable meals a day. While my own children balk at the idea of eating a cafeteria lunch, they do notice how many of their classmates are eating every morsel. At breakfast each day, the amount of students eating daily has risen greatly since my start in teaching. Many more students are coming from homes where situations are unstable and even traumatic.
School for these kids needs to be a second home. While I am often frazzled by the day to day demands of educating my students coupled with paperwork, it is important for me to keep in mind that Monday is their favorite. They know on Monday they will get to hear a story, eat a hot meal, hopefully play outside with their friends, and receive praise and acceptance from their school community. So while I continue to find the increasing demands of my job frustrating at times, I must remember the whole reason I went into teaching in the first place… To make Monday through Friday a happy and enriched place for my students.