Remembering things that bring joy...

Today I went to watch the Portland Thorns play soccer. I am a season ticket holder, thanks to some kind sharing by my friends Kim and Bobby. I love soccer...it has brought me many years of joy. I met my husband playing soccer, we saw the final of the Women's World Cup as the kick off to our honeymoon, we played on teams together and have enjoyed many National Team games together. It is a place that makes me smile, laugh, cheer, yell.

Today, at the Thorns game, my friend Celena brought some of our students. These students participate in an after school program called Raider 2 Raider that Celena, my friend Clair, and I started this year at Reynolds High School, the school where I teach. It's a Peer Tutoring/ Homework Help program where students help students. The greatest part of the program is that many of our ELD students attend and either tutor or be tutored in their own language. It is incredible and, watching them grow into young leaders, brings me a great deal of joy.

Other than my family, my students have my heart. They are the reason I do what I do. Each day when I come to my job, I am reminded why I teach...I come to work each day and impact the lives of young people. I help them see a glimpse of a future that is available to them..a future that, with hard work, they can access. I am part of a group of adults who help them see that tasks can be broken down into pieces that are achievable.

Years later I get to see their accomplishments come to fruition...see them move into their lives with dreams, hopes, and, with the encouragement of adults who care, grow into pretty cool adults. In times like this, when my life seems to be whirling about a the tornado, I need to remember these things...remember the things that bring me joy.

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