Today our leadership team met with all 2nd-5th graders to review their first nine weeks report card and help them set goals for the second nine weeks. We call this Wildcat Watch (We are the Matzke Wildcats, you can follow our story on Twitter here.)
There are 1,052 students at Matzke and I pride myself on knowing a ton of their names and a lot of their stories.
Today I had this conversation with a 4th-grade student at Wildcat Watch and it humbled me a little bit on what I know and what I don’t know.
Me: Did Mom show you your report card this weekend?
Student: No but my Dad did. I actually haven’t seen my mom in a while, like since the beginning of 3rd grade.
[Darn it! I am usually very careful about how I refer to our students’ family unit because there is a wide variation of family dynamics. I typically would say “did someone show you…” or “please make sure whoever you live with knows about…”but I was hurried so I slipped up.]
Me: Oh, I didn’t know that. [Sensing he was a little upset I decided to purs
ue the conversation.] You seem a little sad about that, do you miss your mom?
Student: Sometimes but my Dad is pretty good.
Me: Well, one thing I love about being a Mom is giving my kids hugs, would you like a
Mom hug from me?
Student: That would be pretty great actually.
That kiddo hugged me tightly!
I realized that maybe I only know some of my students’ stories. I know the stories of the students who we discuss at our Academic Achievement Meetings where we discuss the students who are struggling academically. I know the stories of the students we see frequently in the office. This kiddo has great grades and good behavior, I had no idea he hasn’t seen his mom and probably wouldn’t have known that without the opportunity we had today.
New goal: Know ALL of their stories, even the kids who seem to have it all together but need a Mom hug every now and then.