Each week Ruth Ayres extends an invitation to share and celebrate events, big or small, from our week.
Many students come to us with labels - reading labels, cognitive labels, behavior labels, economic labels. Many times those labels are categorized as "those" students.
I have one of "those" students this year. "B" has become my challenge, my goal, my celebration. "B" doesn't like school, hates teachers, and does very little to keep that a secret during the school day. I told "B" on the first day of school that my goal for this year was to keep him school. That goal is in jeopardy.
Building relationships with "those" students is even more important. Each teacher in our school was asked to choose a student to focus on this year, and we are to document how we are making that extra effort with them.
The day I chose "B" my colleagues just looked at me. They know how difficult this task will be.
If not me, then who? If I don't try, if I don't believe in "B," then once again, "B" loses because another adult has given up on him.
I have learned from Ruth the importance of loving "those" kids, the ones who are difficult, the ones who come from hard lives, the ones who don't feel loved.
I have learned from Ruth to celebrate those small moments, those moments which give us hope, those moments which give us joy. We cling to these moments so that believing in "those" students becomes easier.
Today I celebrate one of those moments.
We had an on-demand writing this week. I sat down beside "B" and asked him to give me his best. I told him I thought he could do this work, but he had to show me that he could. My last words to him were, "I believe in you."
This is what he gave me. This is what I celebrate. It gives me hope.