It is raining here. Okay, raining is an understatement. It’s pouring. It’s the proverbial cats and dogs out there. Every phone in the room just buzzed with a weather alert about flash floods. Yet, here I am at work this evening. It’s the last night of our twice a week evening tutorial for middle school and high school students. Our wonderful college volunteer tutors ended their year last week and are off pursuing their summer plans. So, I’m here filling in. I have to confess, I really didn’t want to get in my car and drive here tonight. It has nothing to do with the kids. The weather really is a little scary right now.
But here I am. And here I sit with 5 students who braved the elements. 5 high school students looking for a place to study. 5 young men. 5 Latino young men. I hear so much about achievement disparities. I spend my days looking at how to make our schools and our classrooms more culturally responsive. I hear from students who want to learn. And, honestly, from some teachers who don’t believe they can.
I look at these young men here tonight, I listen to their conversations with each other as they ask to borrow a calculator, check their answers with each other, confirm what they have for homework and laugh together. I realize we have created a safe place for them. This is their port in the storm, both the figurative one raging outside right now and the storm of schools and a society that often rage that they will not achieve.
I am grateful that we can create this place for them and for the many other students who have attended on Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the year. My greatest hope is that we will create schools which serve as safe places for students, places of high expectations and caring support which propel every student to reach their greatest potential.