Recently, I worked with a group of sixth graders, focusing on argumentative essays and how to go about writing them. There were three students who I was working with, all of whom were undeniably shy. However, once the ice was broken, they began to break out of their shells. It was interesting to see how these girls became so confident in what they were talking about. Part of the work that we were doing was discussing what they thought was beautiful. One girl said that her family was beautiful, while another said that art was beautiful. All in all, they had good lists. However, what was most interesting to me was how intelligent and focused they became when talking about what makes something beautiful.
I learned from these girls. I did not expect going into the workshop to become so entranced by them. They caught my attention once they began to speak in a way in which I never thought sixth graders spoke. They impressed me with their vocabulary and their thoughts, but most of all, their ideas. So many things are beautiful in life and they focused on what is most beautiful to them. In my eyes, what I saw them do in the workshop proved to me how truly beautiful the minds are of young people. I will forever be grateful for young students and their intellect that they bring to the world.
So, to the young child who doesn’t do well on tests or can’t seem to understand his or her homework, please don’t beat yourself up. You are smart and you are capable no matter what anyone says. It is up to you to work hard at what you are not good at. Be patient. Your time will come when you will wow the world with your greatness!