Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Slice of Life - Surprises within Intentions

"Mrs. Robek!" and at the same moment from behind me came the biggest bear hug.  "You came, Mrs. Robek!"  Then our conversation continued at a rapid rate because W, a student in my room, was getting ready to participate in the high school drama performance.  His older sister was in the performance and they had a few spots for the main character to be viewed at a younger age.  W had been leaving this week just a few minutes early to attend practices at the high school.  I knew he was excited by his daily sharing and I told him I would try to come.  His honest and joyous reaction to seeing me before the show just warmed my heart.

While watching the show, I couldn't wait until W had his speaking part and of course it came in the very last scene.  He spoke with confidence.   He smiled with joy.   He moved and interacted with the high school students naturally.  Without going into personal details, I haven't always seen this Will in the classroom.  Watching W just reinforced again we need to have Ss doing a variety of responding and sharing of their learning to find the strengths and interest each child has.

After the show, I stepped aside and watched families and friends greet all the actors.  The cafe was a like a beehive, busy with activity.  I couldn't find W and thought he was probably in the middle of the post show congrats and hugs. I had turned and was getting closer to the exit when I heard my name again in a peppy repetitive manner.  I knew right away W found me.  I wanted to find him but didn't want to interrupt his interactions with family and friends.  

He was beaming with pride and excitement.  We hugged again and I gushed about his performance and requested his picture with me.  I live in the community where I teach.  I see students at the pool, on the softball field, and in the grocery store.  This was different.  I intentionally set out to see W in a different setting on a new adventure.  I intentionally went to support him.  I intentionally congratulated him.  I didn't expect his joy and hugs when he saw me.  My heart has been full since these moments.  Making room for the surprises in our intentions matter.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for hosting this writing community and for encouraging us to live a writerly life.


  1. What a great story - no wonder your heart is full!

  2. Great post! You are so connected with your students' lives. The rewards are wonderful!

  3. I am sure you have impacted him for a lifetime. It is those small moments and gestures that truly change a person. He may see school in a different manner now that he has connected with a teacher in a different way. You did that for him! Thank you for sharing this story with us.

  4. Such joy in this posting. I love that the intention is not an end, but rather an opening.

  5. Seeing students beyond the school only enhances our view of them as a person. What a memory you have given Will that his teacher came to see his performance!