As the end of the school year approaches, I am often reminded of the harsh reality of summer break for a number of our students. Many of my students are excited to get their Little League seasons into high gear or their annual summer vacations with the family to a whole variety of locations. Some are already making plans for mid-week sleepovers and time with grandparents and relatives. However, that is not the case with all of my students.
There is a small population of students not looking forward to summer break although they will never come out and tell you. No, I am not talking about your overachieving gifted kids that love doing projects and taking tests. I am talking about that student that has been acting up lately. They have not been doing their work and have been getting into trouble more than usual. In class you notice them unplugging and doing anything for your attention and often in a negative manner. Generally speaking, they are not themselves.
When you take a closer look at these kid’s lives you realize there is something going on. They are not making plans for the summer because they don’t have any. For these students, there is a wide variety of reasons why they fear the summer. For some, their parents are going through a brutal divorce. For others, their parents are just not around and are not involved. In some sad cases, they are in broken homes with some level of abuse or other more tragic circumstances. For them summer is not filled with fun and games, but a harsh reality. They are often too proud to tell you this and as a result act out to get that much craved attention from you before leaving for the summer.
The end of the year will come and summer break will commence. However, for some kids, school is their break. It is their place of normalcy and stability. It is the place they feel safest and most cared for. When these kids started getting out of control towards the end of the year, keep in mind that some of them might be seeking attention out of fear for the summer ahead of them...