My daughter chipped a tooth during her swim lesson last night. She swam right into the wall and chipped off nearly half of one of her front, permanent teeth. It hurt, but not enough that she was willing to leave her swim lesson early. However, I took her to the dentist this morning and we couldn't get it fixed. She was terrified of what might happen and everything seemed to hurt her (I can't say how much really hurt and how much was the fear). It was quite a traumatic experience for her and for me.
Once back at school I had a lot of trouble focusing on my students. I was drained and still stressed about the tooth. I would guess she felt similarly.
A student of mine stopped me in the hall as we were heading to the dentist to tell me that her dog was gone. She was teary. I called a counselor who met with her first thing this morning. But I feel pretty confident that she's not doing her best learning today either.
Neither of these issues are life-shattering. We likely will hardly remember them in years to come. But they are impacting the learning happening here.
Too often when we discuss education and education policy we lose sight of the fact that students are people (as are teachers). We see numbers and forget there are faces, families, emotions, and histories behind each and every one of them. The numbers should be secondary to the people.