|at Two Writing Teachers!|
"What's up? Do you need somebody?" I tried to appear concerned/interested as I simultaneously tried to get my students started on reading.
"Oh, we were just playing 'Guess the Student' from this morning's staff meeting... Is it H.?"
My shoulders relaxed and my biggest grin started to shine. Guess the Student? WE? It's 7th period! People have been thinking (and talking!) about this all day? AWESOME! "Yeah, it's H. Good job! Isn't she just incredible?"
I got them thinking. I made a difference. Just one 5-minute vignette, but what a SPARK!
We had asked to be on the staff meeting agenda to talk about meeting the needs of ELLs. As I planned, I thought of my students: the ones who struggle through sorrow. The ones whose hearts are broken. The ones who can't believe they're lucky enough to be here. The ones who flounder through a strange world. The ones who are proud to share their world with us. The ones who work nonstop. The ones who feel so lost they've given up trying. The ones who find success and find themselves.
If everyone knew my students as well as I do, wouldn't they want to move the world for them too? If they knew what these kids are going through, wouldn't they remember to speak with kindness and teach with patience and consideration? So I took a deep breath, stared out over all the heads of all those teachers who barely even know me, and told one student's story:
|Hopes and dreams. Responsibilities and duties. Fears. Medical struggles. Religious devotion and open-mindedness. A willingness to try new things and a hunger to learn, despite her anxieties and obstacles.|
A history teacher. A French teacher. The principal. The assistant principals. A math teacher. A science teacher. The school psychologist. The librarian. "Great presentation!" "Was the student H.?" "I liked hearing about your student!" "Aren't our students amazing?"
When I told my mom, she called it "putting a face on the data". To me, it's just loving my students. It only takes a SPARK to change the world.