Honest Connections...

Today's Thoughts: Today was (essentially) my first day back. Last week was so disrupted that it was as if I hadn't returned from Winter Break. The day was chaotic (to say the least) and for 8th graders it is the part of the year where they are beginning to decide whether or not they are going to continue to put energy toward school. It is sad to watch...watching students let go of their dreams and succumb to whatever other forces are pulling them in their world. As a teacher, I want to save them all...show them the path toward a brighter future, but, as time has gone on, I have realized that I don't have that power. All I can do is offer them opportunities and be there for support...I can't force anyone to learn, regardless of how I know that getting an education will open up their world. I guess it's like the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water..." I'm pretty much standing there holding a giant glass...they have to choose whether or not to drink!

Today's Gratitude: On Mondays I run an after school tutoring program for the basketball team. Today started out particularly chaotic, but after some time it finally settled down. During the course of the session, I had an opportunity to talk with two students who are struggling (see above described students!). I will be teaching a Math Academy after school twice a week starting next week and both of these young men are willing and interested in enrolling in Academy. They will receive both math and reading support! I am grateful for their willingness to improve their skills and for the connection of trust that I believe that I am making with them.

Secondly, I had an opportunity to work with one of my students from last year who had arranged to come by for math help. She has been struggling in high school with a teacher who does not explain well and came down to work with me for about an hour. I am grateful for building a relationship with her last year that has allowed her the freedom and comfort of calling me and getting help. It is nice to know that former students still think of me as part of their academic support team!

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