The hardest part of being a retired educator is missing the kids .... and the exhilarating high that comes along with the vibrant dance of teaching kids and being taught by them. So I love hearing from or running into former students and learning what they are up to. Last week, Gina, a wonderful woman who is now a social worker at a middle school in NYC wrote to me remembering her own middle school years - I was her seventh grade core teacher so we spent the bulk of each school day together that year. She was and is delightful, so I am thrilled she is an educator touching kids' lives.
We conversed about what her role as a social worker in a middle school entails, the dynamics of middle school education, the complexities of the middle school student, charter schools vs public schools, etc. When I asked about her students, she wrote about a prof she had while doing her Social Work grad studies who hated the term AT-RISK, and was working to have it replaced by AT-PROMISE. Wow! That new language is so much about abundance vs scarcity. Haven't these youth already had enough scarcity in their lives? I admire that prof and will join him or her in reframing the old term into the new one. Perhaps you will join me.
Gina went on .... I feel incredibly lucky to have found a school where children are universally valued and everyone is working as hard as they can to ensure that our kids are successful not only academically but socially and emotionally. It is an honor to be able to participate in the lives of our kids and our families and feels like an enormous responsibility at times. I feel very very lucky.
What a perfect combo ---- an educator so full of promise paired with At-Promise students! Thanks for the lesson, Gina!