No Words

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There are numerous things teacher’s training does not prepare you for. You are expected to teach and teaching is what you learn. Even though you often come across teaching situations you would never have guessed would happen. Experience more or less fills the gaps and with years you may feel less inadequate. Thereore you usually manage to cope as long as what you have to handle belongs to the field of teaching.

However, one thing you do not learn is how to deal with a student’s death and how to face her or his classmates after such an unexpected and shocking event.

Thus last Friday one of my students – a bright and talented girl – killed herself and because of the Easter break we have only just come back to school this morning.

All the teachers that knew her are devastated and so are the students. I wish I could find the words some of these kids wil need but for the time being I feel numb and shaken.

8 thoughts on “No Words

  1. Of course you feel numb and shaken during this devastating situation. Death under what we define as normal circumstances is traumatic, never mind suicide.

    My sincere condolences to her family, and to the school community, on the loss.

    I’m so sorry…

  2. Oh..I am so sorry..It is all too common now and you wonder how any young person could be in that much pain and think it’s better to end it. My daughter is seeing troubled teenagers in the mental health clinic where she is a psychologist. Hopefully she can help to prevent this is another young person..

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this. How to bridge the gap between being a teacher and just being a human being coping with this kind of grief and sadness must be overwhelming.

    I never had to deal with a teen suicide like this as a teacher, but I did assist a teacher whose stepson died in an accident. I didn’t know the boy, nor did the students, but I decided this would be an opportunity to teach the kids an important life skill, so while the teacher was on leave, I had the kids write condolence notes to her which I took to her (along with a hot meal for her and her family). Perhaps writing notes to the girl’s family, or journaling for a few minutes a day in class might help the students process their feelings and allow them an outlet without forcing them to talk before they’re ready. As I said, I don’t have this specific experience under my belt, but I try to imagine what I might do as a teacher in the same situation…

  4. How very, very sad. I am so sorry you are all having to deal with this tragedy. Suicide seems to be an epidemic world wide, a death that is doubly tragic because it is a young person who took their own life. Those who are left behind have a hard time coping with such a death. My friend’s husband took his own life two years’ ago and she and their children are left behind still wondering why? My deepest condolences to her family, to you and to everyone who knew and cared deeply for her.

  5. I’m sorry to hear about this. I identify with the student, having been a depressed teen myself. I’m fortunate I got help eventually, but many people don’t. Take care.

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