Stuart's Spectacular Students

This is dedicated to my amazing students. The goal is for each and every one of them to feel unstoppable by the time they walk out of the classroom door for the final time in May. This chronicles their journey; their own Chronicles of Self-Actualization.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentines Day ~ How to Save a Life ~ Be a Teacher

Valentine's Day 
Love Day

Dedicated to my fellow teachers
Who love their students every day

We are it
We have dedicated our lives to it
We are everything with it
Nothing without it
Because we have become it
Completely vulnerable to it
Is so incredibly wonderful
And the longer we stay in our profession
The more we dive completely into it

~ Adam Stuart
Valentine's Day 2016

*Inspired after receiving an email recently from a parent of a former student (It is not the student pictured below. This was Joadeliz's gift to me this year that she spent her own money on; money she has very little of. It was truly a gift from her heart).

"Dear Mr. Stuart,
________ has mentioned you several times in the past few months. I as her mom am reaching out to you in hopes that you can send her your famous words of encouragement. 

She has been diagnosed with the early onset of ______ 

She has several doctors appointments in the upcoming weeks. She feels down about school, (___A's, ___B's), she needs an uplifting message and trust me I know you're the one that can deliver it and she would openly  receive it.

Once again,  I deeply appreciate it, if you can do that with your busy schedule."

I am a very unassuming person, which means I don't have an ego thinking I'm great, or worried about others seeing me as great or being better than anybody. I simply see the best in others and in the world and often have no idea of any impact I'm having on others. 

Just like any teacher, I do what I do because I am what I am and because it feels real and it feels true.

While moving recently I found a cross a student gave me ten years ago who contacts me now when she feels like cutting herself.

I have worn that cross around my neck every day since finding it.

I also found a letter from another student who told me he had gone through a period of wanting to kill himself, but each time he tried he heard my voice telling him and his classmates to Dream Big, Do Big, and never give up until they Became Big, and if any of them ever did give up they could always come back to me for hope and passion and the strength to fight again because the world needed them and the gifts only they could develop and give to the world.

He is now an incredible poet.
More and more of us are feeling so stressed out by stressed out administrators stressed out by their bosses over-stressing their jobs are at stake by the new protocol that we all forget why we do what we do and don't want to do it anymore.

And more and more of use are dropping out of teaching forever, wondering where we went wrong in our lives.

I came within one day from quitting teaching this year. I was still broken-hearted from a relationship that had ended months earlier, having lost my best friend and wondering where everything had gone wrong.

And now I was teaching at a new school with even tougher requirements because it was a failing school. I didn't feel strong. I didn't feel confident. And I felt so stressed out in meetings that all I heard in my head was, "You can't do this anymore." 

And I wondered what a grown man was doing teaching a bunch of kids who didn't do their homework, didn't behave, didn't care. 

I felt like a loser wondering again where I had gone wrong.

Then I reached down, deep down, into the only thing I had. The only thing I was and the only thing I was ever good at. Love. 

And I didn't quit.

I showed up one day at a time and gave all of me for just one more day at a time.  I decided to live again and love again every day I could get myself out of bed again.

I say we don't drop out. Things are tough in teaching. They are overwhelming. They are hard. 

Love is tougher. Love overcomes. Love breaks down all obstacles.

"It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (Corinthians)

And the love we have for our students has an effect we often have no idea just how big it is on them, how long it stays with them, and how long it keeps them alive because it has become a part of them.  

Valentine's Day is our day.

It is our day every day.

Happy Valentine's Day teachers!

I love you for what you do.

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