The process of learning is difficult. We ride alongside learners. We come with love and passion for what we know to be true and valuable. We want to share this with our students. There are times when that love is clearly felt and then reflected back on us. And there are times when things fall flat or even go backward. When what you thought was going to be great, but wasn’t. When you just didn’t have it. Or when someone else diid something they shouldn’t. And then we as teachers are left with the student who is hurt or by ourselves, trying to figure it out.
Today I celebrate the year in front of me. Today I celebrate students that make me look forward to the learning and growth to come. They grow so much every year. I am lucky to be a part of it.
Mark hates, hates, hates reading a book a week. That’s what he wrote on his student survey yesterday. While this is clearly not what I wanted to hear, it made me smile. The fact that he was clearly stating what he felt, not what I wanted to hear, made me celebrate. I can trust what he tells me is the truth. This is something we can build on.
Jordan loves, loves, loves food. He is a thinker, but sometimes it doesn’t look like it. He gets in trouble on the yard. Doesn’t do his homework. Sometimes refuses to do what he is asked to do. Sometimes he out and out lies. It doesn’t look like it, but he wants to learn, to do well. I know it and we have a team of adults at school to support him. We have this year, the last year before middle school. This year to build strategies to support him and how he approaches learning.
Jessica came to me at lunch. Mrs. Harmatz, can I talk to you about something, starts the conversation. She goes on to tell me how her dad said she wasn’t a good writer or reader. That she writes like a kindergartener and doesn’t understand what she is reading. Those words knocked the wind out of me. Where this child falls on the continuum of 5th grade ability isn’t the point. It doesn’t matter. It seemed in this moment she just wanted to tell me this. And as I stumbled around trying to say that she was amazing without undermining her parent, she goes on to say I will be better I will work harder because you can’t give up, I will be resilient. As painful as this situation is, I celebrate the fact that she came to me. That we have a year together, to grow her and her family towards a positive mindset.
Today I celebrate the year to come.