I wrote a letter to one of my students today. He has been having a particularly rough few weeks since Spring Break. I have given him the benefit of the doubt many times. I have worked hard with him to support him and reach his goals. I hold him to expectations, but I help him get there. To me, this is love. This is support. This is me doing my job.

To him, that is not it at all. Love looks very different to him, and he does not want this kind of love. So, here is the note I wrote that meant nothing to him, but it is still in his desk, just like all the other little notes my mentor teacher and I have written to support him throughout the year on tests and during tough work periods, so perhaps, one day, it will mean something. I really hope it does.

While some of this letter may seem strangely blunt, I have built a relationship with this child where he has, in the past, greatly benefitted from me addressing things which are holding him back, such as his image of himself.

3 thoughts on “WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE

  1. I had a student who tore up every kind thing that was ever presented to him (citizenship awards, Valentines). But I think he did get something out of them. He could tell the different between the genuine things ( a kind note from a teacher) and the fake things (a citizenship certificate for a nice smile.) I hope this boy keeps some of the notes you have written to him, physically or in his memories.


  2. Sometimes your toughest student will surprise you. Just when you think you’ve done everything under the sun to try and convince them that everything they do in the classroom matters and you’re thinking they don’t care. They will turn around and do something that lets you know they get it. It’s that light switch moment.


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