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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Everyone Has a Purpose

My kids are awesome.

They amaze me, teach me, and frequently inspire me. 

Most of the greatness they bring to Room #216 is already inside them. I just try and find a way to bring it out. Sometimes I get to see it during our time together, often just glimpses or little insights to what they'll become. Most times, I don't get to see their greatness until they leave Room 216, if ever.

A few of my kids have been coming up at recess this quarter to keep their friend, recently burdened by crutches, company while the rest of the sixth grade ran around blowing off steam somewhere.

The group has helped me do some minor chores and run some errands, but mostly they just talk and judge my lunchtime music.

The other day after I had left the trio in the room, ran some copies, and then picked up the rest of the class, we started math class like always and I noticed a change in the room. In the middle of explaining mean absolute deviation to a bunch of 12 yr-olds, while trying to make it meaningful and relevant to them, I noticed a mass of angled writing at the rear of the room in our maker space. My kids had written something on the board while I was away.

I wasn't surprised by the presence of the writing, I write on the whiteboard, why can't they? One of the things other students or guest teachers comment on is the lack of posted rules in our room. There are none. If you need a drink, get a drink. If your pencil is dull, get up and sharpen it. We have goals not rules, that guide our actions, and we don't need a list of don'ts to remind us what we are trying to become.

I couldn't quite make out the words, but their presence and volume was enough to make me wonder what message they formed until we started our in-class lesson practice. So as soon as I turned the class loose on their work, I headed for the back of the room.

It read (no edits):

Everyone has a purpose

Don't let someone down your day.
Only let them make all of your days happy.
And if they don't, maybe someone else was meant to.
But maybe that someone was only destined to be met if your not held backbit someone tainting your days, or memories.

That person will only hold you back.
We all have that person who will fill your days and memories with hope, dream, and happiness.

If you can't find the person who make all of your days, and memories happy, then be that person for someone else. 
-Here's that person

Wow! What were you doing when you were twelve?

The simple freedom of letting kids write on a whiteboard created an opportunity for this student to express themselves. I'm glad they felt comfortable enough to express something that was inside them and they had a medium to get it out.

No list of rules can do that for a kid.

Thanks for reading.

I'm on Twitter @YourKidsTeacher