Time really is no one's friend. We're already about to begin the third week of school. Already, I'm worried that I won't have enough time to give my students all that they need. When my ELL's come to me, they are at least six years behind where they need to be. And, if they are in eighth grade, the challenge is even more great. How do I prepare these kids in order to pass the graduation test in tenth grade? I always panic when I get the first reading assessment score. I will have at least half of my class score a zero percent in reading ability. This is not because they cannot read, it's because they read in a different language than the assessment. In addition, these students are not five or six years old, with many years to catch-up. Rather, these are eleven, twelve, thirteen, and sometimes, fourteen year olds. The task is daunting, at best.
Each year I must apply to myself all the encouraging messages I preach to my students. We do this one day at a time, one task at a time, one success at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day. A good crop is not harvested in one day. We must daily give our very best, and do better tomorrow. And, one day, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day, we will see the fruit of our labor. And, at the end of the year, there will be big smiles, and big hugs, and perhaps tears, as we see all that we accomplished together. The biggest heart filler is when they come back as 16 and 17 year olds thanking me for planting the seeds they needed in order to reap their own academic and personal harvest.
So, this weekend, as I reflect on the past two weeks, and look ahead on the countless others that are to come, may I remember the successes of the past and encourage myself, we can do this!