I ask her if she has anything else she wants to share.
The student-led conference is almost over. Ups and downs have been highlighted. She has discussed how she has grown, the choices she has made, how she is ready for the challenge of the next year. I couldn’t be prouder, she is right, she is ready.
She clears her throat, says, “Yes, I want to share my highlight of the year…” pulls up the page to show her mom and then begins.
“My highlight of the year is when I realized I would be ok…
When I realized that all of the work I had put in would pay off, when I realized that I was smart, that this would be a good year. That the way others saw me was for me to decide. That last year which wasn’t so great, was not this year but that this year would be good.”
She continues on, and as I listen I get teary-eyed, I cannot help but think that perhaps we all need to have this realization.
That we will be okay.
That the past is truly in the past. That we decide how the present will be. That we screw up, that we make mistakes, but that we can fix it, that we can be better.
That sometimes others view us in a way we don’t want.
That sometimes we surround ourselves with negativity.
That sometimes we are the negativity.
That sometimes we make these decisions that affect us for a long time, but that there always, always is a way out.
And that sometimes, we are the reason a kid started to see themselves this way.
That we, as educators, hold so much power over how these kids feel within our classrooms, that if we do not feel okay, it will be hard for our students to. That if we only see our student through one lens, whatever we may be, we miss the whole kid. That we all need to help kids that they will be ok.
So may we all have the realization that we will be ok.
That we are enough.
That we are smart.
That we are kind.
That what we have done is worth it. Is worth us.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child. This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block. If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.