And we’re back.

Hi ya’ll, after a bit of a hiatus.. we. are. back! While I had every intention of writing posts over the summer, I, well how do you say it…didn’t. I literally went straight to the airport the day school concluded in June and the rest was history. Summer for me was filled with jet setting, charity planning, house-buying, moving and of course time with family and friends. I couldn’t of imagined spending it any other way! However it feels good to be back in a routine and especially to see my kiddos. I missed them much, even on the days they may drive me completely bonkers, they are the reason I wake up everyday and do what I do.

How was your summer? What fun things did you do?

School for us here at HFA started the day after Labor Day, September 3rd and we are now in the middle of our 5th week. Honestly I cannot believe that we are already halfway through the trimester and parent teacher conferences as next week (say what??). I feel like it was just orientation week. I’m not really sure where time is going. I saw something the other day that said, “There are 3 more months left in this decade..THIS decade, let that sink in for a minute.” That hit something serious. We are about to be out of the 2010’s and into the 2020’s. While high school graduation seems like forever ago, it does not feel like 10 years have passed. But I digress. Back to “back to school.”

This year I have joined a new team. I am now apart of the 11th grade team whereas last year I was on the 10th grade team. Things have been off to a pretty smooth start considering there will always be “those days.” So far it has been very interesting having a lot of the students I did last year. While it has been fairly easy to see their academic growth between grade levels in the form of assessments and assignments; seeing their personal growth has been a whole different ball game.

One thing I found out real quick was that any prejudgments or prejudices brought in from last year had to be removed from my thought process. Each student deserved to receive a clean slate to prove themselves; after all a lot can happen in 2 and a half months, right? I had heard last year numerous times that there is typically vast growth seen between 10th and 11th grade. Part of me questioned this, but I came to realize if I didn’t clear my mind of who the 10th graders “were” I would not be able to see who my now 11th graders “are.” Some students are still less mature. Some students are still in the process of realizing they are a few years away from the “real world.” However, overall I would say their personal growth has been noticed. Most realize that they are in the last half of their high school career and college is just around the corner. They realize that their actions have consequences and those consequences can severely impact their futures.

Nicky Gumbel Quote: “Don’t judge a person by their past. They don’t necessarily live there anymore.”

This holds true for any walk of life however. Our pasts do not define our futures, yet it is so easy to come into situations with a predetermined idea of who someone is going to be or how something may go. These thoughts can come from our own experiences or those that we get from others and it is challenging to overcome them. While I am not saying give everyone the benefit of doubt. Not one bit; been there, done that, been hurt a time, two or twenty and learned my lessons. What I am saying is if the situation deems appropriate (appropriate is relative to time, place and person), test yourself to clear your mind of thoughts of the past. Sometimes may be easier than others, but if you consciously make the effort you may be surprised by what you open yourself up to.

For me, I am thankful I opened myself up to allow my 11th graders to prove themselves to me. Don’t get me wrong, all has certainly not been sunshine and rainbows and I have already fought my fair share of battles. Some students have left the impression they have not changed, but for those that have, it’s been exciting to watch the “light bulbs” click in them these last 5 weeks. This is something I may not of noticed had I judged them by their actions last year.

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