Saturday, September 17, 2016

"Those" Students - Celebrate #18

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.


  1. Your honest post about "B" is so heartfelt. I have a "B" this year and I am working hard on loving him. We're making progress too. Celebrating with you on Saturday.

  2. Yay for you! Yay for "B"! He showed up. He wrote!! Woo Hoo!!! Love "he shot up out of his seat" and "jubilantly"! I celebrate you both today!

  3. Sometimes all it takes is someone to "see" you and believe in you. Here's to hoping B's light will shine this year. He is one lucky student to have landed in your class.

  4. "If not you, then. . ." I love that you chose B, and imagine him being "jubilant" all the year, Leigh Anne.

  5. I love this celebration. It takes persistence and it will take a lot of willpower, but this student deserves to have someone who believes in him. So inspiring!

  6. You clearly understand how important it is not to give up on anyone. It may be challenging and we might not always succeed but without trying there is no hope. I am glad you had a moment that gives you more hope.

  7. "If not me, than who?" What a beautiful thought! How lucky B is that you chose him!!
    And, "I believe in you." That thought will stay with B for a very, very long time!
    This is a huge celebration!

  8. Leigh Anne, thank goodness for B that it is you.

  9. Oh I love B. Jubilantly jumping up! That whole page is amazing. He is so lucky to have you.

  10. Oh, how I love this post. Not only will you learn more about B as you dig deeper into learning his story, you will also learn more about all of your students. Can't wait to hear more about this journey.

  11. "If not me, then who?" Congrats for having the courage and perseverance to say that. This student will always remember the gift of time and confidence you gave him.

  12. My exchange student told me everyone needs someone who believes in them. I'm so glad you are believing in B.