‘I Can Only Imagine’ by MercyMe shuffled through the IPod during my morning walk taking me to contemplate moments, feelings and experiences I have never been subjected to. I have no personal knowledge of climbing Mount Everest, or winning an Olympic gold medal or feeling the exhilaration of accomplishing such a feat. I have no knowledge of winning the lottery and becoming a millionaire, although I’d fully welcome that one if given the opportunity. And I have no awareness of the feelings associated with having a terminally ill child or losing a child and I pray to God, that one isn’t in my future. But as humans we just accept that we will not be privileged or at a disadvantage to have every encounter known to mankind.
This last week I was fortunate enough to be of witness to a novel experience of a student of mine. I teach students with learning challenges so it’s common-place to watch the disappointments, struggles and frustrations of my kids. However, this particular student that I’ve taught for two years was fortunate to have one of those ‘I Can Only Imagine’ moments, and I was lucky enough to be of witness to her response. She passed the Science End-of-Grade test with a level 3 score and for those of you who aren’t familiar with this process, students take the EOG’s beginning in 3rd grade and are expected to pass each component (reading, math and science) or they have to re-take the test. Regardless of our efforts to shelter students who need to re-take the test, students are aware of those individuals who pass and those who don’t.
My student, M- tries so hard and if there ever was a perfect learner, despite her labels, it is her. She carries out whatever is requested of her and doesn’t give up-EVER. She is respectful, kind, loving, and funny and in spite of her limitations in the classroom, she more than offsets those with the friend and student she has strived to become. However, whenever her classmates chatter of their successes, I observe her self-confidence evaporate like a puddle on a blistering day but to her credit, she keeps persevering.
So this was her week, her day and her moment. For all the tests she has taken and fallen short of the targeted goals; as our school district deems as crucial, for all the moments she stood graciously in the other student’s shadows, this was her time to be jubilant and euphoric and she certainly was, as were all the adults whose lives have been blessed by knowing her, this was her Mount Everest moment! The days’ following her success there continues to be a skip in her step and a glowing smile that brightens her face for she is no longer imagining what that moment will feel like, she knows!
Until we meet again,
(Thanks to M's parents for allowing me to talk of her in my blog AND for sharing her with me...)