Friday, 23 September 2016

Prodigal Child

Yesterday I marked an exam.

Today I triggered the process that will see that kid's report card generated and his marks sent to the Ministry of Education.

I gave a silent little cheer.

One more.

One more kid who finished his course.  

And it occurred to me that I think of each one of these kids as a prodigal son. That might not be exactly accurate, as the Bibical prodigal son is one who left home, lived lavishly and squandered his inheritance and returned to the loving arms of his father.  My students have not all lived carelessly and squandered their education. They do not all feel that they are unworthy. But somehow that idea about celebrating the return of one who was lost and is now found keeps coming into my mind. I think I probably rejoice more over that one kid who just finished Social 20-1 than a classroom teacher celebrates at getting an entire class through their course.

One by one.

The hockey players. The swimmers. The young moms. The Syrian refugees and the children of foreign workers and the ones who dropped out because of substance abuse or a bad home life. And the accelerated students and the ones who want to finish early. The kids who failed and are now trying again. The kids who need to upgrade a mark to get into college. The adults laid off from their jobs in the oil patch or the middle aged people who just want to prove to themselves they can learn.

Every one, working at their own pace. Many fall by the wayside, but for every one who succeeds, I do a silent dance of celebration.