I miss backpacks. They are a true indicator that school is in session. I have found a strange void as both a teacher and a parent not to see students carrying them.
Usually, a backpack is full of the useful tools for success in school: books, computer, pens, pencils, lunch. They are adorned with cute cuddly characters as a youngster. Characters change to stickers, water bottles, and other personal items attached by a favorite color carabiner as students move to secondary school. The older the backpack, the bigger and heavier it got. I always laughed watching students compare their stories of future back surgeries attributed to their teacher of choice who assigned too much reading or homework.
Although we don’t see students carrying their backpacks in and out of school everyday, you can be sure that students are still carrying a backpack. Unfortunately, they aren’t full of useful tools. They are full of a smorgasbord of emotions not designed to help them find success. Anxiety. Fear. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. Confusion. Mourning.
The answers are the same with every group of students I have worked with since leaving school in March. The weight of their backpacks are heavier than they have ever been. They are filled with a new strange weight that is hard to lighten.
The even stranger part is seeing how adults are carrying the same backpacks. Teachers, parents, and trusted adults who have been able to assist them in the past seem heavy with the weight of these same emotions. Everywhere we look we see people weighted down by their own backpack. WE ALL ARE WEARING A BACKPACK.
This is Part One in a series focused on this concept. Follow me on FB or Instagram to journey with me to lighten the load of our students, teachers, parents, and community.
Thanks for stopping by. These are musings on how I see leadership in the world and how I continue to try and grow through my lens.