#IWishMyStudentsKnew: I Like You.

About a month ago, an elementary school teacher asked her students to reflect on and write about the following question:

What do you wish your teacher knew about you?

The results were funny, heartbreaking, and above all: authentic. I (and my students) needed something positive to latch on to near the end of the school year before diving into our standardized test next week, so I asked them the same question.

And my god, are my students bright, brilliant, and blindingly amazing.

I already knew it before, but as science goes, this experiment fully proved, validated, legitimized the hypothesis.

Let me state it again, as now, it is Fact:

My students are bright, brilliant, and blindingly Amazing.

I will share now the most touching experience of my morning, while I asked my students to answer what #IWishMyTeacherKnew.

This is Laura’s response.

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I sat for a moment at my desk, feeling her response.

Then, I went over to Laura and told her I wanted to teach her something.

I. We placed our right hand to our hearts, pinkies up.

Like. Middle finger and thumb together, we pulled an invisible thread outward from our hearts.

You. We pointed to one another.

“I like you, Lauren. Now you can share that with people, so they know you like them too.” I smiled. She began to cry.

“May I hug you?” I asked her.

We hugged, and out of her mouth she whispered two words:

“Thank you.”

For anyone who doesn’t know, teaching cannot be summed up by standardized tests, nor can it be summed up by standards taught and assessed. Teaching is a collection of memorable moments when communities collide, brains connect, and hearts become one.

Teaching is not glorious. It is often messy, thankless, and downright difficult.

But if humans, so diverse in age, race, socioeconomic status, music preferences, slang, cultural values, and learning styles can come together to learn, love, and remember together, well then,

If there’s one thing #IWishMyStudentsKnew, it’s this:

Teaching is worth every goddamn moment. Every. Last. One.

And I will always, always be here to to remind you, I like you.

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Love,

Ochwoman

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