She picked the pinkest one, of course, it even had a little bit of sparkle. This was important, and as Thea sat in the backseat, clutching her new backpack, she said, “I cannot wait for tomorrow. I cannot wait to show my teacher.” Not her friends, not her aunts, not her daddy; her teacher. Because that’s who she hopes notices this new acquisition. That who she cannot wait to show it to.
I wonder how many things my students hope I notice every day. Those tiny little things that tend to get sucked into a blur of oblivion, rushed away in a fast-paced day. I wonder how many of my 7th graders hope that I notice something small, something that means the world to them, and are disappointed when I don’t. I wonder if there is ever something they can’t wait to show me. Something they hope I see.
How often are the small things the things that need to get our attention. Not their past school history, not their family life, not their grades, not their homework record. Not the times they were late, or the times they were sent away. Not the times they handed things in on tie, had perfect attendance, or even got it all right. Not those times, we notice those. The little times, the ones that make a difference to them but to us may seem inconsequential.
I will never be able to notice every little thing, but it won’t be for a lack of trying. At least I can say that much, I tried, my team tries, even if we don’t always succeed. I hope they notice that we see them. I hope they notice that we pay attention. Because even though they may be much bigger than Thea, I hope it matters to them still that we care. I hope it matters that we try.
I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.