It breaks for my students who have traveled here through many dangers, including detention centers, trains where humans travel on top, criminals, and the threat of dying of thirst.
It breaks for those students who have been separated from their family members, only to join new family members in a different life. And, it breaks for the family members left behind, always wondering and missing the ones who left.
My heart breaks for the kids who go home to families struggling with addiction and with mental illnesses left untreated. It breaks for the ones with the addiction and mental illness, who can't manage life and can't take care of themselves, nevermind their kids.
My heart aches for the kids who manipulate their parents because it is the only way they know to get attention. It aches for the kids who get no attention, no matter what they do.
My heart breaks for the kids who get the wrong kind of attention, the unwanted kind, the kind that scars them forever.
My heart aches for the parents who suffer, because they came here for a better life for their kids, but their kids are uncontrollable and the parents are puzzled and confused, and don't know the system enough and don't have resources.
My heart aches for the kids who have no homes to go to, who live in motels, or cars, or on the street.
My heart aches for the kids all over the world who are forced to leave their homes with nothing, who are under the threat of constant violence, who have nothing but still smile. My heart aches for those that are not able to have a normal childhood.
Even in our happy bubble of a town, we see all of these issues. As teachers, we want to help, we want to fix, and solve our kids' problems. We want them to be worry-free, to come to school and only have to think about what they are learning next. We want them to thrive, to succeed, to be able to overcome any and all of their challenges and grow into happy and successful adults.
When it's all too much, it's good to remember that we are doing the best we can. We can't solve all the problems, but everything we do counts.