A colleague wrote to acknowledge yesterday that we never know what's going on in the lives of others. I couldn't agree more.
Also yesterday when I shared the news of my brother's death in a positive way with fifth graders since I will be out for a few days, I heard their stories of struggle--many stories I didn't know about which reminded me that we don't always know what's going on in the lives of our students too.
Every individual is an intricate puzzle, and what we see on the surface or in our interactions is only a small fraction of that overall person which reminds me that we always have to meet people with an open mind and heart recognizing that we will learn about that person's strengths and capacity in many different ways over time.
There are so many lessons to learn and opportunity to embrace in these lives we live.