It’s what I wish for you…

Hello Friends,

I think the most important teaching moments come at the most unexpected times.  For me, it’s usually the end of class linger. What am I talking about? Well, it’s that moment when my students linger at the edge of my desk, waiting.

What are they waiting for you might ask?

Anything. A smile. A (gasp) hug. Maybe they need to get something off of their chest.  Maybe they need to hear how well they’re doing.

Maybe they just need to talk.

One of my students, well, she’s fantastic.  She is eighteen, and has a son who is almost three.  She is has one of the highest GPAs in the program.  She wants to be a veterinarian.  Her mother really has no relationship with her whatsoever, and she recently told me that she disappointed her father beyond repair when she got pregnant, and so he really doesn’t expect much from her anymore.

I adore this child.

She makes a better teacher, a better daughter, a better listener, a better person.

She wanted to know what I thought she should do after high school. She wanted to know my expectations of her, what I thought of her worth…

I didn’t even know where to begin.

Journals are an essential element of all the classes that I teach.  My kids write to me, and I answer them back.  (It takes a TREMENDOUS amount of time, but hey, it’s worth it.)

After a bit of deliberation, I wrote this in her journal:

What do I wish for you?
 
I wish that your strength is always greater than mine has ever been.
When you face hardship, difficulty, and sadness,
I wish that you remember the strength that lies within you.
It has always been there,
It will always be there,
And there is no one who can take that away.
 
What do I wish for you?
I wish that you never depend on anyone
to put food on your table,
clothes on your back,
or a roof over your head.
I know that you will achieve those necessities…
with the brilliance that lies in you.
 
Trust in that brilliance.
Always.
Even in times of doubt, and I promise you there will be many,
remember that it is there.
 
What do I wish for you?
I wish I could take away the inevitable sadness
that all lives will encounter,
but this I know cannot happen.
So…
Instead I wish that your sadness
will never take hold of your heart.
That you will allow yourself to let it go,
for holding on will only cause you more pain.
When you have the strength to let it go,
Well, that is when I hope you will heal.
 
What do I wish for you?
I wish that you travel,
I wish that you explore,
I wish you go to
places,
sights,
and heights
that I never did see.
 
Never let anyone stand in your way.
 
What do I wish for you?
I wish that you love,
But first and foremost I wish that you love yourself.
 
Know that you are kind,
Know that you are smart,
Know that you are beautiful,
…inside and out.
Remind yourself of that everyday.
 
What do I wish for you?
Go after your dreams,
Chase them,
Achieve them,
Celebrate all of the moments.
 
I wish that whenever you are told the word no, you hear the word YES.

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