“Miss Pearson,” he said, “before Christmas you said you were out of Ziploc bags at home. I saw your sandwich and chips in the same bag. Nobody needs that. That’s gross. Plus, when we need something, you get it. When we lose our glue, you may not be happy but you get us another one. Or when Joe* eats his pencils, you tell him it’s wrong but you still give him more. You told us that if we love people, we show them. You said real leaders show people. I just want to show you.”
Katie was undone by this little boy’s compassion, and all at once, it brought her role as a teacher into crystal clear perspective:
“Yes I care if they read but today I realized it’s okay if they cannot read and write at an unrealistic level because when they leave my classroom, they leave better than they came.
It’s okay if my kids can’t retell every non-fiction book and make text-to-world connections because they leave with a tender heart. Sure, the world needs better readers and writers….but our world really needs softer hearts, eager hearts, and willing hearts. Our world needs kids who observe more and learn from it. Our world needs more compassion.
So my kids may not all be on level when they leave me…but they all leave me knowing they can be better and that they have the potential within to make this world better.”
Katie says that box of Ziploc bags meant more to her than an entire class reading at grade level.
“Anyone can teach them to read but not everyone will teach them to care.”
Amen to that sister! Give a shout to a teacher in your life today. They are carrying a burden far greater than anyone should have to endure.