I wanted to tweet this, but I couldn't break it down to 140 characters. So I'm posting a quick note to my blog to remember that even in 2011 in rural, suburban, and urban areas we have kids who are breaking the cycle. I am inspired by this one, who writes in her Senior Valedictory Exhibition "my proudest moment is right now. I am the first to graduate from high school in my family. When I started, I was super nervous and didn't think I could make it. At times, I thought it would never end. But here it is; this is the last day, and I did it. It was a rough road, but I am ready to continue it. I will probably hit some more bumps along the way, yet I am ready to face them. I know I will be taking baby steps rather than leaps, but I will make it. I just want to scream to myself "I am proud of you!"
This was not something so uncommon in the rural schools where I spent the large majority of my teaching career. But now, I teach outside of a large metro area, and I was surprised by this. I did not know this about this young woman, and I spent a year with her in English IV. I admire even more greatly her work ethic and her attitude in class. She will make it! A few years ago one student wrote to me and his class "there's more to me than I let on." I have to remember this about every student!