Certain students bring a light to the rest of their classmates. It is their dedication to the activity of learning; it is their character and unyielding work ethic; it is their passion and warmth; all of these qualities help define and portray the kind of student we wish to have in our classrooms.
Last week, a student was absent for the first hour and a half. His classmates knew he would not be there. Still, their desire for the absent student’s presence was palpable.
These moments of interdependence, where either the students express their need for the other or question that need are teachable moments. Though the work the present students were doing was meaningful (and arduous), it would have felt more meaningful with the presence of their colleague and friend.
Why do we work hard? For ourselves? For others? It was at this moment that I knew that we have something special at this school — that the students feel a bond beyond explanation when it comes to their learning environment and the work they do. Though they may share different interests and enroll in different classes, it is the shared experience of working through their work together that makes this school special.