The first good comes from a kindergarten student who was really struggling to be in the classroom. When teachers tried to say hello to him he would turn his head away from them. I'd experienced this myself on numerous occasions. Slowly but surely he started to acknowledge our existence when we said hello to him. He is now to the point that he is able to stay in the regular classroom the entire day! (I knew he had come a long way when HE said hello to me first AND gave ME a high five, but I didn't know HOW far he had come until it was shared with us this morning.) I feel so lucky to work with the most amazing teachers. They never gave up on him and the unconditional love they have shown him is helping him to blossom. I feel so privileged to be a witness to his transformation.
The second good comes from a second grader. This is a student who has the most unique and loving family. He, like so many others, has had his own set of struggles. His teacher read aloud a piece of this child's writing. It was beautifully written with the honesty and innocence of a child, but the words were woven in such a clever way that it would have challenged the writing of many adults. Listening to this brilliantly written piece had me smiling, chuckling and even brought tears to my eyes. He wrote about a trip that he had taken with his family. He talked about seeing a blind woman who had a seeing eye dog and talked about how the dog went everywhere with her. Then he effortless moved onto how they went to church and prayed a lot. He wrote how he said the Lord's prayer three times and he included the prayer in his writing. Then he talked about going to his grandma's house, how it was a sad, sad day. He ended it by saying that they went to the cemetery where they buried his grandpa. His words touched my heart.
Teaching is SO much more than just the academic part. It's believing in each child, regardless of what their struggle or circumstances might be. It's being that special person that they feel comfortable enough with to share their lives. It is about celebrating the good things and encouraging them to persevere when things get hard. It is about helping each child realize the gifts they have to offer just by being themselves. In this day and age when public education is being bashed left and right; where we are forced to administer tests that, in my humble opinion, are not necessary it is important to share the New and Goods. I'm so grateful to work with a principal who understands this.