Thursday, October 9, 2014

"Hope" dealers

We are all “hope dealers”.  This comment came from a discussion I had on voxer with my #ptcamp group.  Jeffrey See (@JeffreyASee), a new administrator in Wisconsin, attended a conference and the keynote speaker, Roberto Rivera, spoke about how he used to be a dope dealer and now he's a "hope dealer". Jeffrey jokingly said he could see me with a tilted hat as a representation of a "hope dealer" so I gave it a try with this picture.
Think about it.  Every day we have the opportunity to either expand and foster a student’s hopes or crush them.  Do we always have this in mind when we have a chance to speak with individual students?  Do we ask them what they hope to do with their life and explain how what we are doing in class is assisting them in this endeavor?  My guess is that the answer is mixed- sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t.  Think of the power of our conversations, no matter how long or short, and how they can provide the opportunity and support for reaching these hopes.  We all had hopes in 5th through 8th grade.  Mine was to become a professional basketball player.  My coaches spoke to me about becoming the best I could be and obviously I didn’t have the skills or height or speed to make this happen.  But my coaches continued to support this hope.  Their support may not have helped me reach my hopes, but I have the same types of conversations with students as often as I can.  Now I know what you’re saying- Jay, how can we have these conversations with our students every day?  Here’s what I would say- How can we not have these conversations?  It doesn’t take long.  I’ve seen you all have these conversations with students, and the students respond to them.  Show them you care.  Give them a little of your time.  You are all “hope dealers” and I’m proud of you for that.