Lauren Thoma, Sartell
This fall has brought my first year as a brand-new teacher. While it’s been my first year conducting a classroom, it’s also been my students’ first year as students. My high-school students are joining me for their first experience with formal education, the United States and English.
Needless to say, I bounded out of college last spring with more passion, vigor and intention than I knew what to do with. My students met me this fall, likewise. Together we face language barriers, financial limits and cultural borders –the tough things – head on.
But despite our intentions of meeting this fall full-force and making a dent in each of our personal casings, sometimes the big things are just too big. At those moments, we have all learned to ask each other for help. At those moments, the simple things weigh more heavily than they might appear.
As the fall wanes and school thickens, the simple things have become a point of meditation for myself and my classroom. Despite our big dreams and goals, we fight obstacles daily. One month into school, the limited school supplies my refugee students could conjure are already exhausted.
Last week, I reached out to some Sartell businesses and asked if any would be interested in donating pencils with misprinted business names or old phone numbers on them. Deb Duncan of Liquid Assets offered to personally donate pencils to my students.
I want to thank Deb publicly for her generosity. This is exactly the type of simple thing that means so much. Please, Deb and readers, take a pause to remind yourself that often the simple things mean an incredible amount to others. It really matters.