Saturday, December 5, 2015

Celebrate Turn #32


Each week Ruth Ayres extends an invitation to share and celebrate events, big or small, from our week.  This year I have numbered my celebration posts.  I am only at 32, so I have missed a few along the way.  I may not have written, but I have always celebrated.  I have learned it is the celebration that is most important. 

Today I celebrate finding the good.


Thursday night I attended my daughter Megan's first Christmas program.  Watching her students on stage, I stood in the back of the dark auditorium.  A young man with a hood over his head comes up to me and whispers, "Hi Mrs. Eck."


Did I mention it was dark?  He gets closer and laughs because he knows I can't see who he is.  "It's me, Nathan."  


And he hugs me.


Nathan (not his real name) was a student I had in my ELA class last year.


Nathan is in trouble again.  This breaks my heart, because I know Nathan is a good kid.  He has rough edges, and sometimes people see these edges as a reason not to care or a reason not to find the good in students.


And I am sure many believe that a kid with rough edges is not a person who hugs a teacher.


He told me what happened and how he was sent to our detention center, was on house arrest, and now on probation.  


When I had Nathan as a student last year and he would get in trouble, I always talked to him.  I always told him he was better than his actions, and that I believed in him.  He always promised he would try to do better.


I always found the good.


I did the same Thursday night.


After our conversation, I searched in purse for my notebook and wrote down my email address and my phone number.  I handed it to him and told him, "Call me if you need help with anything. You're a good kid, and I still believe in you."


Nathan did not have to come up and speak to me.  Nathan did not have to hug me.  But he did. For me, that hug speaks volumes about trust.  That hug is a true celebration.


Life is so tough for many of our students.  I want to believe that Nathan will make it because he has the ability to do just that.  But he is also going to need someone who believes in him and someone to just find the good in him.  Nathan may have left my classroom last year, but he never left my heart.  


Today I celebrate finding the good.



Have a great week and may you find many celebrations along the way.

12 comments:

  1. I hope he can work out his life, Leigh Anne, crossing my fingers. That he came to connect with you that evening says much about your kindness to him. It seems like a first step that he cared enough to say hello.

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  2. Whenever you think you don't make a difference, think of Nathan and all the other kids. What a light you are to so many students. You see the goodness and possibility in each and every one.

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  3. Thank you, Leigh Anne. Thank you for being there for this student. Imagine if more teachers were like this. If more teachers could see the good. If more teachers took the time. Thank you.

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  4. This is beautiful Leigh Anne. So good he has you to hold on to. Even when you're not there, you are there in his heart.

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  5. Teaching is so much more than the curriculum, isn't it Leigh Anne - your post speaks so eloquently to the powerful connections we form. Nathan is lucky to have had you, and to still have you, in his life.

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  6. Thanks for sharing a beautiful moment. You reminded me of WHY we doing this thing called being a teacher....because of the kids. We really CAN help to make a difference in their lives!! YOU are an inspiration!

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  7. I did not write today because I am still processing an event that left me with very similar thoughts to yours. Each kid needs a hero. We have to see our students beyond their labels. We have to advocate for them and be the one who says, "You are good." Nathan will remember you. His heart will reflect the good you see in him.

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  8. Nathan is so incredibly blessed to have you as his champion, Leigh Anne. Kids like Nathan are one of the reasons I went into (and stay in) teaching. Keep seeing beyond those rough edges, my friend.

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  9. Oh, this is so heartbreaking, but your words and actions had to encourage him. I'm so glad he reached out and hugged you!

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  10. Wow. This is a moment to celebrate indeed.

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  11. So touching that he reached out to you . . . he knows you believe in him. What a tribute to the relationship you built with him and continue today.

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  12. Seeing beyond the rough edges! Nathan came up and said hello and hugged you because your belief in him is still there. I ache for Nathan and I'm grateful that he has you there seeing the real him!! LOVE this!

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