A Letter to K
This year I decided to go "the old-fashioned way" when it came to documenting and writing. I went back to paper and pen. I kept a notebook in which I would write my thoughts, reflections or questions as I was experiencing them in the classroom or in my role as an instructional coach. Best decision I made! Today I went back to that notebook and started re-reading some of my earlier writing from the year. I found this letter I wrote to one of my students K on September 13, 2017. It was the perfect timing. I'll tell you at the end of this post why.. But here's a snap of what I wrote that day.
Your smile as we get ready for learning tells me everything is going to be ok. You'll succeed no matter the obstacle. I know my words are blurry to you right now. I know you only understand some parts of what I say in English. How do I know this? Your eyes tell me all. You are constantly searching in my face for meaning. You work so hard to simply understand. Today we had a moment. This moment between you and I warmed my heart. I said to you, "Write your name please. Write it big!" You thought I asked you to write the word "big" because that's exactly what it was spelled out on your paper. I just smiled. What a powerful reminder to me as your teacher. Thank you.
Moments like these never discourage you because you feel happy and safe. You are willing to try things over and over again. And you do it with a smile. This kind of love you have for learning will carry you through. Always. Wherever you go. Whatever language you're learning.
Thanks K for reminding me how joyful learning is and for showing me how fun is to embrace new knowledge as confusing as it can be at first. It's only September K but here are a couple of things you already taught me:
compassion and kindness
finding joy in everything we do
showing up 100%
learning takes time
embracing the misunderstandings.
K, I can tell that you are going to teach me a lot of this year. I can't wait. I'm ready.
As I said earlier, the timing of this post was perfect. I'm celebrating K as much today as I did back in September. He has worked hard all throughout the year. And always with a smile. He understands the English language so much more but we still embrace the moments of confusing between one another. After all, we're all language learners and we are truly never done learning the language. K grew a lot this year and I'm grateful for his classroom teacher who is not looking at "meeting benchmark in reading " as the only tool for growth and success (because although he was close, he didn't quite meet that expected DRA level). I'm thankful that she understands that he has done a year of growth and that his language continues to bloom. It takes a village and I'm grateful for mine.