Yesterday was Orientation/Schedule Pick-Up for our students. The 7th and 8th graders came in the afternoon and only a few students stopped by my room. Considering I am the intervention teacher, a lot of students don’t realize I’ll be in their inclusion classes.
I think I met three new students.
I had a visitor from a few years ago….a girl who loved to give me grief, but you could tell she was happy to see me. Why else would she seek me out?
I also had a boy from last year stop by. He came in, we looked at his schedule, he looked around the room, and he sadly shook his head.
“Wow…you’ve changed a lot of things in here. It’s so different. Just…wow….”
Honestly, it’s not that different, but I saw him look over at his old seat and I could see it in his eyes. Some students will get to have me again. They will be in a familiar place with a familiar face. They will know how I am and they will know what to expect. There is comfort there.
But this boy is moving on to the 8th grade inclusion class, where he should be. I know he’s anxious about starting a new grade and having new teachers. He was the same way last fall. He had constant questions and overwhelming self-doubt.
But over the course of the year, I pushed him to try, and I insisted that he was smart enough to do the work on his own. He didn’t like it and it stressed him out. But I didn’t give in. There were too many others who needed more help, and I knew that he had it in him.
By the end of the year, he found his place at the top of the class. He gained so much confidence and he truly grew up – in so many ways – right before my eyes.
As he let out a sigh and turned to walk out of my room, I told him, “You’ve changed too and I know you’re going to be just fine.”