A boy walked through my door last year, first day of school. He had showed up to meet the teacher day, with his older brother. Nothing about him stood out to me, as a first year teacher, I was just taking it all in stride. For some reason, maybe some higher power, I picked this student to be my first "helper of the day." This included running errands, leading the pledge, other small things.
Okay, fast forward to first parent teacher conference. I met mom. Within moments the mother sat there before me crying about how her son loved school, and how she was so happy.
Great, I thought, that's what any teacher loves to hear. But she went on, this student was heavily medicated last year for anxiety, bi-polor, and social disorders. He literally spent hours a day in the counselors office. WHAT?!!? (that would have been good information to know at the beginning of the year)
So all in all my year with J was overall a joy-filled, learning, stretching, growing, year. There were some days when he would feel alone, if his friends were leaving him out, but nothing major.
Tonight I went and watched him play 7th grade basketball. He rushed up to me before the game, (I was standing by his coach) When his coach asked what he needed, he said he just came to see his best teacher. As I watched him own that court later in the evening, I couldn't help but swell up with pride at the young man he became.
J, I can't wait to see you go to high school, and beyond. Keep following your heart, it's a good one.