Thursday, October 27, 2016

Student-centered decisions

This week, like many, has been filled with opportunities for reflection and growth as a tribe.

The big picture is sometimes hard to see in the day to day tasks that can sometimes seem overwhelming.  However, there was a moment yesterday that had me overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude towards our tribe.

To really understand the impact I must first tell you the story of a student.

The story is about a fourth grader that transferred into Vero Beach Elementary last year.

He was vocal about how much he hated school.  He was commited to disrupting learning in any and all ways possible.  Let's just say, I was a frequent visitor to his classroom.  He would throw items, curse, defy authority, and make open threats.

Despite this, I knew we could reach him.

There was a breakdown in my office last year.  He started talking to me about the show, "Full House."
Boom.  Connection.  You see sometimes it's that easy.  We immediately started talking about it and how much we both loved the show.  The morals and values that were engrained in it.  The complex characters that overcame tragedy and how a family came together to support each other.

The conversation ended with him telling me that I remind him of DJ Tanner and that in the new version, she's a mom.

This kid melted my heart in that moment.

Fast forward to this year.  Structures have been put in place and this student is thriving.  Not only is he academically improving, but he has built friendships and has developed strong leadership skills.  He became a member of our first media production team and always has a smile on his face.

This doesn't happen by accident.

Thank you to all the VBE tribe that make student-centered decisions and encourage, connect, and push our Little Indians.

Yesterday his teacher tweeted out a writing sample.  It was absolutely impressive to see the student's growth.  However, I cried (more like sobbed like a baby) when I found out the work was his.

It's not the test score that will matter in his life.  It's the teacher that takes time to celebrate his growth and share it with the world that will make the change.



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