Monday, March 3, 2014
I am fortunate to teach in a small community. Overall, I have a good idea where and how my students will end up living their life. It is amazing to see them blossom into adults. Making good choices and bad ones. Finding love, happiness, and joy in their lives.
Two years ago, I changed grade levels. In my class, I have 4th graders who used to be 1st graders with me. It is fantastic to see their growth from budding students to independent learners.
Most teachers will have that student. The one who challenges you in ways that you didn't realize you were being challenged. G is my student. As a 1st grader, he would not write. He would shut down verbally. His imagination was like no other. Then some days, he would engage and shine in areas.
He was tested and it was determined that he was highly intelligent so we began to support him with our gifted and talented teacher. The next two years were turbulent in his life and more was discovered in his social and emotional development. He was also staffed on an IEP.
When G returned to me classroom as a 4th grader, he was my first experience with a twice exceptional student. Meeting G's needs meant more than challenging him in math and helping him as a writer. It was providing a place where he felt safe. It has taken a team to help G. I have the support on the G&T teacher, SPED teacher, our counselor, a mentor from the community, his parents, and now his friends. As his mom put in one of our mid-year check-ins, "it is so nice to have G talk about friends...that are real"!
When I look back on my career and I think of my Minnesota students from the early 90s then my Colorado students of the past 22 years. I am surprised how many faces pop into my head. G will always be on that list. Everyday I hope I can reach him. I hope I am providing him with the tools to be successful in life. The one thing I do know is that I did create a community where he found friends. For that fact alone, all the hard work was worth it!