Nothing in this world compares to the comfort and security of having someone just hold your hand.
Sam, Stephanie, and I went out for a run. The sun was shining, but the breeze was cool. It was the perfect morning for running. Sam was feeling good and took off ahead of Steph and me.
Steph never feels good when she’s running. She’s a beast on the basketball court, but distance running is not her thing. She only does it to be prepared for basketball.
I run with her to encourage healthy habits. Steph, though, is headstrong and she doesn’t always appreciate encouragement. Sometimes it’s best to keep running at my own pace and let her wallow in agony alone.
This particular run was brutal for Stephanie. The harder the run, the feistier Stephanie becomes. This was the run that she was sure was going to the be end of her existence. “I’m going to vaporize,” she screamed, “and it will be all your fault, Mom.”
I kept running. It’s easiest to get along when there’s no response. Stephanie continued to puff behind me. Sam, who was still leaps and bounds ahead, turned back to run with me.
“What’s wrong with Steph?” he asked.
“It’s a hard run for her. Remember how some days the runs are hard?”
“At least she isn’t sitting on the edge of the road. That’s what I used to do,” he chuckled. Then he ran back to Stephanie.
I expected to hear her spew words at him. Running is hard for her and she doesn’t like failing. When I didn’t hear anything, I looked back. Sam was running alongside Steph, holding her hand.
I slowed down and they kept running. Soon they did an “Indy 500 pass,” sandwiching me as they zoomed by on both sides. In front of me, Sam reached for Stephanie’s hand again. They ran together until the end.
Reaching out to hold a hand is sometimes the only encouragement needed. It is a simple gesture with much power. There are many times I’m unsure what to say to a student. Their situations are brutal and there are no words. Maybe all that’s needed is an offer of support and a reminder that they are not alone.
This week we look at struggling students and families and how to support them. Plus more as always — enjoy!
Contributor, Choice Literacy
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We’ve all experienced that moment in a parent conference. You finish your spiel, which includes assessment data, charts, and an anecdote or two about the child. And when you’re finished, the parent asks, “But how is my child doing?” Melissa Kolb explores the reasons why there can be a mismatch between our sense of useful information in parent conferences and a parent’s expectations:
Franki Sibberson tries to imagine what school and classroom libraries look like to struggling readers who are gazing at scores of books beyond their reading levels. She takes on the challenge of rearranging book displays and tweaking instruction through a series of 10 questions you can ask yourself to assess how inviting your library is to struggling readers:
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Jennifer Schwanke shares some of the unique struggles parents of English language learners have in making their children’s needs known, and how we can help them:
Andrea Smith continues her series on the power of “branding” for improving student blogs. In this installment, students examine mentor blogs and bloggers:
In this week’s video, Ruth Ayres confers with fourth grader Nicole and reinforces advice from her mom about capitalizing proper nouns, as well as the importance of applying what you know about conventions in first drafts:
Stella Villalba finds English language learners struggle less when teachers understand what adaptations are needed in the classroom environment:
You can read many more articles about building strong home and school connections in the Family Relations section of the website:
That’s all for this week!