It seems odd to say that the most important thing that happened this week was a hug. But it was. I have a little guy in my class who has struggled in many ways this year. He came in low academically: he had no knowledge of his letters or sounds. He struggled socially: he didn't seem to know how to make friends. He struggled with me: he didn't seem to grasp that working hard was mandatory, not optional.
The year went on and he grew in his academics. He grew in his knowledge of how to make friends (nope, you don't have to buy them!). Yet he still struggled with me. It was hard on me. I'm sure him too. I sounded like a broken record, "You can chose to do your work now or at recess. That is your choice." I had realized, as the year went on, that he was capable of much more than he was willing to show. I was committed to being his rock. Someone he would remember for the rest of his life that didn't give up.
As so many times before, and surely to come, this kiddo had a past filled with trauma. His current situation is great, but, just like with us, the past makes us who we are and escape is futile. All we can do is learn from it and move forward. A hard task.
It's mid May. The year is almost done. On Wednesday I was explaining to the students that we only had 20 days left of school... and how much I would miss them. Post morning meeting my little guy came up. "I'm really going to miss you Ms. Foley." And he proceeded to initiate a hug. He has never done that before. I stood in awe. He continued with two more unsolicited hugs that day.
My thought: I did it. I finally bonded to this guy. He knows I care for him and he cares for me. The week couldn't get any better.