There are days when I have a plan to write something specific. Then I find a quote that hits me right in the gut. This was one of those days.
Yesterday was the first workday of the school year. I work in a Title 1 School in Wilmington NC. Most of our students live in poverty. Some live in communities riddled with drugs and violence. Some are homeless living in shelters or with multiple family members and may move more than once during the school year. A lot of our students come to school below grade level by a year or two.
When that’s the mountain in front of you, especially as a child, it’s scary and daunting and you wonder how you could ever move it out of the way.
I’ve worked at my school for two years and for those two years we’ve worked, under amazing leadership, to help our students see themselves as we see them. Not as they are portrayed in other arenas. But as we see them.
This year, we are letting them know as soon as they walk in the building.
At the entrance, there’s a long hallway that is lined with the bane of every teacher’s existence. The Bulletin Board. Not one but eight of them. Each of the eight is topped with three smaller ones.
Normally, I hate bulletin boards. A blank board fills me with dread. All that cork…
But this year? All the feels. Our amazing art teacher (and she is truly amazing) created canvases for the top of the big bulletin board. She painted different words on each of them. Strong. Accomplished. Unique. Smart. Brave.
On each side of the canvases, there are beautiful black and white photos of our kids. It’s an amazing depiction of how we see them. Strong. Accomplished. Unique. Smart. Brave.
One word. As soon as you walk in the building. One word that shows students who they are and the traits they carry with them every single day. One word that tells our students that you can. You will. We will help you move that mountain so you can become all that you were intended to be.
We just need to push together.
Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a son or daughter, a friend, or just a human being, we all have mountains. They are hard. They are tall. They cast shadows. We can’t always see what’s on the other side. But they are ours to conquer.
And when we do, they move from being a mountain in our way to an accomplishment and experience we get to call on when we need it.
Whatever mountain is in front of your right now, know that it can be moved. You can try to do it on your own or enlist the help that you have so richly earned. And know, that once you move it, you are that shining light that others need, to know that it can be moved too. If my kiddos can do it. so can you!