Two responsible and kind students approached me this morning as we were settling into our unpacking routine, starting a snowy Monday in March in third grade. A boy and a girl, these two are rule-followers, respectful, and kind.
They wanted to tell me about something that happened on Friday, when I was out of the classroom for a math training. Something had troubled them, weighed on their minds, they thought I should know. They were letting me know of an injustice that befell two of their fellow students that day.
I listened. I heard what they said. And I don't know all the ins and outs, the whats and the whys of the situation. What I do know is these students cared deeply about their classmates and trusted me to hear them and maybe do something to right the wrong.
We spend so much time talking about empathy. We read books and talk about characters and kindness and courage. I never know how much they understand, really, or how much these conversations will change them. I always hope it will have an impact, sometime, somewhere down the road.
This morning, as they two spoke up for their classmates, I knew these are the lessons I must keep teaching.