Spring fever has arrived – that time of year when students [and teachers] are uninhibited, excited, stir-crazy and in need of change. Behavior challenges pop up more frequently and we seem to have a more difficult time holding things together.  This got me to thinking about one of my former students. 

I remember him distinctly – dead set on convincing me he was “bad” as evidenced by his words and actions. I had to work hard to not give in and agree with him, confirming his self-fulfilling prophecy. I knew he had a lot of potential, but most of the time it was hard to see given his challenging behaviors.  This morning, as I walked downstairs, I got a visual reminder of what helped me make it through that year with this child – having hope.

We planted a redbud tree right outside the window of our stairwell many years back. We did so because every spring it blooms beautifully.  Of course, when I look at the tree in the dead of winter I have to remind myself that hiding inside the hard exterior of the limbs are spring flowers waiting patiently to emerge. And you know what?  No matter how crazy our weather gets during the winter, like clockwork, a sea of pink flowers eventually overtakes the tree. Yes indeed, hope springs eternal.

I think sometimes the best we can do is just remain hopeful. Hope is always there, but sometimes we get so overwhelmed with challenges that we can’t see it.  It was about one year ago the challenges of 2020 started to pile up.  As we continue to deal with the frustrations 2021 now seems to be throwing at us, we need to stay hopeful. No matter how challenging the winter, spring is on the horizon, and things will get better.