We Are All Allowed to Have Bad Days

Some days I am energized on my way to school. I look forward to conferring with students about their writing, reading aloud favorite passages, and facilitating discussions. Other days, not so much. I am irritated before I even walk into the classroom. And that’s ok. I’m allowed to have bad days. I may need to be alone at lunch, go for a walk during my prep period, or call a friend to vent.

If I think I’m alone on my own rollercoaster of emotion, I’ve certainly forgotten what it’s like to be 13 years old. In the space of a five-minute class change, middle schoolers can feel all the feels. They are walking on sunshine after a friend’s whisper in the hallway, and then they are holding back tears when someone ignores them at lunch. I am guilty of forgetting this. In the chaos of the school day, I forget that my students have days when everything seems off. When all the things that matter to them are going sideways.

So, I write this as a reminder. Offer students the same grace I give myself, the same space and support I give to my friends when they are hurting. Be on the lookout for rough day warriors who try to cover up all the pain with artificial smiles and forced laughs. When you see them, don’t try to fix anything; just listen and support. Give them the same thing that you need on those days: space to breathe, walk away for a minute, and find someone they trust.

3 thoughts on “We Are All Allowed to Have Bad Days

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