The things that matter
I visited a student at his home today (yes, on a Sunday) with another teacher. His home was pieced together with random bits of furniture that created the bare necessities of a “home.” This student, whom I shall refer to as “Elmo” (one of his nicknames) does not live with his parents. In fact, Elmo’s parents live in Mexico. Elmo lives with a legal guardian. Clearly, as we all do, Elmo has his own set of problems.
Elmo is able to sort of escape reality because he really enjoys working on his car and making sure it is in tip-top shape (by the way, the car was paid for entirely by Elmo, who is still in high school). Just before I left, I talked to Elmo a bit about his car. The things that matter to a 16 year old child are quite interesting. Elmo has not yet been introduced to the concept of waxing cars. Today, I told him about it. He was very curious and asked several questions. I made a deal with Elmo today. I told him that I would teach him how to wax his car if he got an A in my class. Although I didn’t think it was a big deal, Elmo was thrilled and his face glowed with excitement. He doesn’t know it (yet), but Elmo taught me something today.
One must remember in life that each human being is unique. What matters to one person may or may not matter to you or to any other person. Choose carefully which stories you tell to each person, and the questions and responses that you provide. Be respectful of every person’s history, traditions, culture, and background. Be kind to the things that matter.