At the end of the day, standing at my door waiting for my parent pick up kiddos to line up, I noticed one of my students sprawled out on the rug. All day this child, let’s call him Julian, was at odds with me. In all honesty, I was looking forward to seeing him walk out the door. Jokingly, I called to him, “Julian, are you staying here then? Spending the night at school?”
To my surprise, Julian’s face lit up. He smiled and said, “I wish.” He proceeded to line up and gush to me about how great it would be if we could all stay at school all the time, how much he loves being at school. Another student chimed in, agreeing and excitedly saying how much we could learn if we lived at school.
Moments later, my whole line was chattering about Julian’s idea. Listening to their conversation made me think about what a beautiful sanctuary school can become to students. If we build our classroom and school communities as places of safety, creativity, comfort, and inspiration, students really do feel at home at school. Some students may even feel more at home at school than at home.
Next time I become frustrated, disappointed, or discouraged, I hope I will remember Julian’s comments. I hope I will smile, shake off my disillusionment and remember that my job is to create a home for students, a place that welcomes and fosters a spirit of inquiry and a love of learning.