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longdivision1Early in my teaching career, I had a parent tell me in utter frustration that her son had received the same comments on his report card since he was 2 years old; he was 12 at the time. In other words, he was true to himself. This child was incredible in so many ways. He was kind, caring, hard working, socially adept and inquisitive. He was the mayor of the school. Everyone knew and appreciated him. He also had a hard time staying on task and getting his work done… because he was busy working the room. And that is who he is; sometimes there is no escaping.

This is the time of year when we resolve to make changes in our lives. We seek to become better versions of ourselves and are determined to do what is necessary to make that happen. One thing that can get lost in this quest is the fact that there are some things we just have to decide to accept. Working in a school teaches us this each and every day.

As educators, we have the unique opportunity to help students understand more about who they are as learners and as people. As they grow and learn more about themselves, they learn how to adapt and accommodate their challenges while also sharing their gifts. If they are not so good at math, they may ask a friend for support and guidance. If they are good at writing, they may support someone who needs to grow in that area. The important lesson is that, while they have challenges, they continue to be a valued contributor to the classroom, to learning, and to their friends and families. Learning to garner the support one needs to be successful is critical because some things continue to challenge us no matter how much we learn and grow. And, sometimes, that is the resolution that is needed for children to see themselves as successful. Accepting our challenges allows us to recognize and address them.