I was reading a book this weekend and it reminded me that I do not need to look far to see the goodness that is around me. So as I reflect on the past three weeks I continue to be reminded of the blessings that are right in front of my eyes.
I always try to make an intentional effort to build a relationship with each student and with that intention comes the time I spend learning about each child and making connections that will ignite the light in our relationship. For some kids, it is as easy as the love of baseball, books or writing. For others, it is their pets, dance or the love of music. The key is to find what their passion is and build that connection through it.
This brings me to my third blessing- Dean. Dean is one of my athletes; a very enthusiastic baseball player. We instantly created a bond around our shared love for the sport. As I have gotten to know him more, I see the same enthusiasm in his learning, as well. His inquisitive mind is always turned on when we are learning. It is a joy to hear his thoughts during class discussions. Dean is always thinking ahead and asking questions about the next step in the learning process.
The true blessing I find in Dean, though, is his care and compassion for others. He has an empathetic heart that sees beyond the person. He looks for the good in others within a situation, a story or a real life experience he or a classmate has had. He is quick to express his concern for others and he loves to join in the celebration of someone else’s accomplishments.
The other day when I had finished teaching a grammar lesson to Dean’s small group , I asked them if they had any questions before we ended. Dean raised his hand and said, ” I do not have a question, but I have a compliment.” He continued by saying, ” This was a lot of fun!” A grammar lesson that most would think is dry and unengaging was entertaining and engaging for Dean. It made me love this kid even more. Through his eyes the simplest things bring joy. What a great lesson to learn! It does not have to be something grand and “confetti-like” to bring a bit of joy.
So as the weeks continue and the work and stress seems to weigh more on my spirit, I keep looking for my blessings. I do not have to look far as they are right in front of me each and every day- twenty-nine 9 and 10 year old children. This time it is Dean and he has taught me that even the small things in life can bring us joy.