The Slice of Life March Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers.
This week my students will begin a unit on perseverance. They will read a biography of their own choosing and write a literary essay on how this person persevered. To prepare for the unit, I have been immersing myself in picture book biographies. I have read several and written essays to use as mentor texts.
One of the books I read was Becoming Babe Ruth by Matt Tavares. I knew a little bit about Babe, such as his nicknames, The Sultan of Swat and The Colossus. I also knew he played for the New York Yankees, and he held the home run record for a long time. But I did learn something.
Babe Ruth was a troublemaker as a child. His parents finally reached a point where they said enough is enough. As a result, they sent him to the Saint Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reform school. It was there where he and 800 other boys, were introduced to the game of baseball. It was there where he met a teacher, Brother Matthias. Together these two things changed his life and sent him down a path I am sure he never thought was possible.
This one teacher found something this troublemaker did well, and spent countless hours nurturing this gift and helping him to become a legend.
All it took was one person who believed in him, a teacher.
Isn't that what we, as teachers, are called to do? To find those strengths in our students and help them to shine? To find those troublemakers and give them hope, to give them a dream, to show them someone cares? To build those relationships and create learning environments where these students can thrive and turn the impossible into the possible?
Today, I will look at some of my students and wonder, "Have your parents or anyone else in your life given up on you?"
"Could you become a 'Babe Ruth'?"