Remember my post just a few days ago about how spring had come to Suburbia? Well, today instead of the warm, sunny weather of this past weekend we awoke to two inches of snow on the ground! Fortunately, the snow brought no travel difficulties, considering how warm the roads remained. No snow day today means fewer make-up days at the end of the school year. If we can make it another week or so, I doubt we’ll use another weather day this year.
And the weather isn’t the only thing changing around Suburbia. People often ask me why I work in public education. With all the bad press about kids and schools today, they find it hard to believe that I truly love my work and the students whose lives I have the opportunity to share. But last night is an example of why even the bad days are worth it. We make differences in kids’ futures each and every day.
And last night at the monthly Board of Education meeting, I imagine that few people knew the significance for one student who came to be recognized as a member of the state championship swim team. I’ve written of this student before, one morning when I saw him standing in the cafeteria of the elementary school where Soccer Boy goes to school.
But this time, he wasn’t confused, or scared, or wondering how he was going to handle yet another difficult situation that life had thrown his way. No, this time, he was proud, looking fabulous in a shirt and tie, stepping up to tell the Board what he plans to do after he graduates this spring. This time when I saw him standing there, my heart filled with pride, not pity.
And when he walked by to shake my hand, along with the long line of other students, I couldn’t help but pull him in for a hug, to lean closer and tell him, “I’m so proud of you.”
And, I’m so proud of All-American Public Schools too. Of every teacher who spent extra time helping him get caught up after his absences, of the principal who understood that “standard operating procedures” might not be the best avenue to get this particular student on track, of the swim coach who took a chance on a very non-traditional team member. Hard work and heart on both his part and on the part of the school community opened the path from standing huddled and confused to standing tall and among friends. And I can’t begin to explain just how happy I was, this time, to have seen him standing there!