A recurring theme has been the notion of influencing transformation in young
developing human beings. To me, few things are as compelling as the chance to
be an agent of optimism and change for kids. I subscribe to seeing them as whole
healthy human beings capable of having a future with promise, rather than seeing
these kids as broken, damaged or deficit...
Sometimes the best we can do is to provide a soft place for them to fall. For some of the tough kids school is the only place they receive security, consistent care and hear the kinds of messages kids need to receive.
For me, the tough kids are also the inspirational kids. They present us with the greatest challenges and in doing so prompt our personal and professional growth. They challenge us to think about what we are doing and why we are doing it, and whether our actions are helpful. These inspirational kids dare us to break away from our comfort zone, to try new ideas and teach in different ways. They prevent us from becoming complacent and believing that it is adequate to teach in the same way, with the same program and same attitude year after year. In those moments when something clicks for them, or a few years later when we hear about their success, it reminds us that we are all in this together. They teach us about the value of relationship, connectedness and the depth of human spirit. They teach us to scratch below the surface of behaviour and understand the uniqueness of their functioning...
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