Students Who Live in Our Hearts

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Students who live in our hearts are often those who:
1. Challenge us the most
2. Keep us up at night
3. Find their ways into our thoughts outside of school hours

These are the ones who stay with us.
They surprise us
by letting their guard down in
subtle,
beautiful ways.
Showing that they listened,
showing they care,
when we least expect it.

This morning started with a difficult phone call.
Before my 5th graders shuffled in,
I huddled in a corner of my room
speaking softly into my phone.
I hung up,
took a breath.
And then,
in walks the current keeper of my heart.
She hands me her notebook.
“Here.”

See, dogs are her greatest passion
and in a moment of desperation
to get her to generate something,
anything for her feature article,
I said to her last Friday:

“You know, my mom should get a dog
but she can’t handle one that is too energetic.
She needs one that will sit with her
and keep her company.
So she would find an article about different kinds of dog breeds really helpful.
You should write that!”

My student
responded with a shrug.
I didn’t think she heard me.

Until this morning,
a weekend later,
when she hands me a her notebook
opened to a page entitled:
“Top Ten Lazy Dog Breeds.”

“This is for your mom.”
she says.

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1 thought on “Students Who Live in Our Hearts”

  1. She did listen! It is nice that she cared enough to come up with a list. Did you expect more? Is there more she can work on for the research project? Why are these dogs better than others? I’m interested! As the afterschool garden club teacher, I often got kids in the club that teachers would ask me on the sly – how is “so and so doing?” They are hard to manage – often the students they were concerned about were different in my club than they were in the classroom. That was a good thing and a nice surprise. I guess the moral of the story is that students will surprise us when we least expect it.

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