I’m a house faculty advisor, so I interact with a sixth of the high school students. I only teach juniors and seniors, but I have vague oversight over a sixth of all of them. (Think Minerva McGonagall. Or maybe Snape.) Most of the students in my house this year are freshmen, and I’m still learning names and faces.
Outside my room is the cafeteria, which has a piano in it. After school today, one of the freshmen boys in my house was playing it while I packed up my room. He sounded pretty good, and I started listening. It sounded familiar, and I realized that it was the theme to an anime I like, RWBY. I dropped what I was doing and walked over to him.
Me: “Hey, is that the RWBY theme? You sound really good.”
He stops what he’s doing, stands up, and starts bouncing up and down. His whole face lights up; the kid is beaming.
Him: “You watch…you know….you watch…?” He’s so excited he can’t get the words out.
Me: “Yeah, I watch RWBY. My brother got me into it.”
Him: “I didn’t know that any of the teachers liked it! I love RWBY!”
He told me all about a cosplay he’d made for one of the characters, and how he’s going to make another one, and how he went to see it in theaters when it was released there (it’s normally online, so that was a big deal.) He was so excited.
It was such a small thing for me – just mentioning that I recognized the song and that he sounded good – but the look on his face was as though I’d just handed him the moon. Our kids are so excited when they discover that we’re people and like what they like.
A student drew something on another student’s leg today. By the time I found out about it, the drawing had been changed to something more appropriate. I called the artist over after school and asked him what he’d done. He didn’t want to tell me and was very uncomfortable, but he did fess up. And immediately understood that he’d been out of line.
I so admire my students for fessing up to their mistakes and wrongdoings. And I so admired this kid’s soft heart and willingness to take correction. Doing something childish when you’re learning how to not be a child isn’t that big a deal; owning up to your mistakes and being willing to listen when someone explains why you shouldn’t do that is a huge deal. I’m so proud of him.