“I Think I Get Him.”

Conferences tonight.

I looked a mom straight in the eye, and from the deepest part of my heart I said, “Your son is unique.  When I confer with him, I always have to really ponder the way in which to perfectly mix my words, suggestions, praises, and advice.  He is so bright, so guarded, so walled off, yet I KNOW there is an opening somewhere. After letting him settle in on his own terms, he said, ‘Can you revise this with me?’  What followed was the most concise, most poignant, most meaningful conference I have ever had with a student.  I must have looked down as I was talking to the mom in the conference, I know I did because I envisioned this student so clearly in my head that when I looked up, she had a single tear rolling down her face.  She said simply, “You understand him.”  Her tear was her son, and we shared knowing him like only moms and teachers do.

Conferences tonight.


About bwartzen

I am a middle school literacy teacher in a K-8 STEM Charter school in Waukesha, WI
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11 Responses to “I Think I Get Him.”

  1. Wow — that comment of “you understand him” — very powerful experience for a teacher, and a parent. Great slice.

  2. Ruth says:

    The power of listening will always trump everything else. I hope I listen to students the way you did here.

  3. Ruth says:

    Also, I tried to send you an email, but it was returned to me. You didn’t share the correct link on TWT. I changed it today, but if you have questions on how to do it, then please send me an email. You can find a link to my contact information on the daily slice post.

  4. Stacey says:

    There is nothing more powerful than knowing something understands you as a person. What a wonderful gift you gave to this mother. You should be proud of yourself as a teacher. This student is truly lucky to have someone like you who has figured him out.

  5. Wanda Brown says:

    This mom will forever remember you and so will the son. You have made a bookmark of sorts on their lives. Your actions are what make me proud to say, I am a teacher.

  6. jen says:

    Those moments are priceless, and we can only wish, for our sake as well as our students’ that they came along more often!

  7. Wow! That is powerful. He will grow and blossom in your care.

  8. Barbara says:

    As a teacher, I can so relate to your post!

  9. Jana says:

    What a powerful post! That parent really appreciated the fact that you understand her son. What a great reminder that I must keep digging until I find an opening.

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