"Students want to know they are known."
-Barry Lane (via Twitter, 3/5/16)
I was standing outside my daughter Megan's classroom, waiting for her nursery school class to return from their downstairs dance class. It was Megan's third birthday, and I was there to read a story to her class and share a treat. My son, Alex, is in the same preschool, in the upstairs classroom with the "big kids" who are off to kindergarten next year. Later in the day, I would be coming back to the school to read to Alex's class and share a snack, using my day off from work to the fullest.
One of Alex's teachers came down the stairs and stopped to chat with me for a minute. She had the kindest things to say. She told me how Alex always makes her laugh, and says the most clever things, and has such a warm heart. She said she's seen a lot of children in 15 years and there is something very special about him. She spoke so genuinely, with a smile, about my little boy and how much she appreciates him, how he adds so much to the class.
My heart just filled.
Tomorrow, I go back to work, with my teacher hat back on. It's report card time and there is important information to impart to parents. For some, I will need to mention self-control and focus, others effort, others academic difficulties, struggles to keep up with the third grade curriculum. With a standards based report card, there are many components to evaluate. Letters or numbers written in a box to say exceeding expectations, on track, approaching, or needs improvement.
The comments will be my chance to show parents that I know their child, know the good inside, know there are many things to celebrate even if some other aspects of school are a struggle. Barry Lane tweeted, "Students want to be known they are known" and I would add, "Parents want to know you know their children." It makes all the difference.