Sunday, December 2, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

why not

As you may have realized through the writing, I am a teacher. The purpose of this blog is NOT to write about teaching or education. But this came to my attention and totally caught my attention.

I teach freshmen, 14 and 15 year olds who are new to high school. This year, so far, has been one of the best groups that I have had in a couple of years. They are interested, plugged in, and crack me up on a daily basis. Right now, they are buzzing about the Winter Dance that the senior class is sponsoring. And for the first time, they are electing a court for the dance. And also for the first time, I've got  nominated freshmen who are campaigning! I haven't seen this happen ... for a long time. When I first started at this school, students would very actively campaign for any opportunity to become a baroness or queen. It is telling that we have a group of kids who are engaged and care. It's wonderful really.

And then there's Jess. Jessica is in my 4th period class. I've already had an eye on her. She sits in a group, the lone girl and African American, with a group of 3 slightly dorky Mexican boys. The conversations that they have when not doing their work! It's fascinating. They talk about everything! Race, fears, family, favorite foods ... you name it. And it is done gently and respectfully. Every time that I look over to them, they are huddled ... totally together and totally all smitten with each other.

Well, as you can see, Jessica is running for freshman baroness. And when I got a hold of her COLOR flier, I ... appreciated her even more. Why vote for Jess? She says in her bulleted list: I'm nice, I'm cool, I'm fun .... Why not. Why not?! That is the key to this dynamic young lady ... why not? Exactly, why not???? That is absolutely brilliant. And it comes from a confident place that I haven't seen in a 14 year old in a while. She is a treasure. She also writes, 'And if I don't win, I"ll be ok, it's not like its going to be the end of the world.' 

No Jess, it is not going to be the end of the world. As a matter of fact, it is going to be just the beginning of yours. And if this is any indication of what it will look like, it will be more than ok. And that makes me so thankful. She has reminded me that it really isn't that serious ... fun can had, the job can be done whether the prize is won or not.

Why not. It's your decision so make a smart one ;)