(content warning: adult language)
“Love you. Mean it. Make good choices.”
I tell my students this every day as they leave my class. I am actively and acutely aware that I may be the only person who tells them that they’re loved, so I make sure to say it every day. And it makes a difference. Even I didn’t know just how much of a difference it made in the beginning. Not until one day when a group of my students lingered after dismissal.
“Did y’all need something?” I asked as I packed my stuff and prepared to leave for the day.
“You didn’t tell us you love us,” one of them said, expectantly. “We can’t go until you do.”
I could feel a broad smile spread across my face. I honestly had never realized just how much it meant to them. It was just something I started saying–and very recently at that. I meant it, of course. Every single time, I meant it. I did love my students. I still love all of my students. Every single day, I say a prayer for all of my students, past and present. But I never realized my saying it made such a difference to them. Not until Gabby spoke up.
She didn’t know it then, but she changed my life that day. She made me realize just how much power my simple words have. She made me see what a difference I was able to make in somebody’s life. Gabby helped me see how small gestures can add up to great things.Read more