While summer credit recovery students are winding down, I’ve had some sweet interactions with my summer writer/readers. One suffered from screen time fatigue that was very real and made doing an online course difficult. One had a slow start, but we ended up laughing together at the various topics he chose to write about. And one, with autism, and who I know struggled in traditional brick and mortar school, rocked my socks off in my gothic literature course.
Now fall courses are slowly being assigned for me to set up, and I just finished my company’s mandatory compliancy training. I am contemplating how best to make darn sure that my students feel welcomed and valued, and that they have an advocate in me. One incident from the spring semester stands out to me and could have been tragic for the kiddo.
She wrote an assignment about an important event in her life and it was clear to me that depression had a dark hold on her, so I reached out. While she ended up being fine, she was surprised that I noticed and that is what continues to haunt me. How many of those soft pleas for help go unnoticed?
We have to notice. We need to listen. We can offer love, support, and more than probably anything else, that “I see you there and you matter.”