Posted by: bwoof | January 13, 2010

King William and hope

We have this place in our district that services learners who, for a variety of reasons, don’t learn best in a traditional high school. Located on King William street, this restored old factory now features several classrooms, large and brightly lit common areas, comfy sofas, a print shop and workspace, new computer labs, a child-minding centre, and a very welcoming info centre.

Today I learned the power of personal visits. You see, we often share with students the options that they have, including the King William site. However, it’s all just words, pie in the sky until…

…until someone takes a personal interest

…until someone helps the learners ‘see’ the possibilities

…until the young person has a friend or an advocate accompany them on their first visit–going alone is the pits

…until someone welcomes each individual on a personal and friendly basis

…until the educators at that place speak directly with the student and dispense hope and help build a realistic plan

Hope Hope Hope!

And again, I learned the power of HOPE. After school, much later in the day, hope was offered to at least three drop-outs early leavers. Cold calls from a caring adult…and bingo! Three ‘almost graduated’ people decided to maybe give learning a try again…and they are oh so close. I learned again that personal connections make a difference.

I’m looking forward to our June graduation when I hope with all my heart to shake the hands of many young people who were coaxed or encouraged back from the brink of hopelessness. Many thanks to the caring adults at my school who don’t give up…ever.

Grateful for:

  • a restorative justice conversation that inches us forward a bit with one young person
  • Julie and her story which reminds me to never ever give up on people; and she’s a great photographer on top of it all

Curious about:

  • how to respond to the Haiti disaster…how tragic
  • how to cope with teen mental illness(es)
  • how the math dept culminating tasks will go and will it help or hiner our EQAO scores. Ultimately, did the kids learn?
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