The minutes were quickly disappearing. The kids had been sent out the door with backpacks full of papers and rolled up sweatshirts, and I was stuffing my own teacher bag and grabbing my keys, on my way to an after-school meeting.
The secretary came to the doorway. “I just had a call. You have a new student coming, and she is starting tomorrow.”
I stopped short, my thoughts whirling. I don’t have a desk ready. She needs a mailbox. Where will I put her? How will she fit into the small groups I have going? Hey…what even is her name??
As I drove to my meeting, I felt terrible. This new girl is going to walk into a new school, meet a new teacher, be surrounded by new classmates, and there won’t even be a desk with her name on it yet. How can I make her feel welcome?
Then I made the shift. We will make her feel welcome with smiles and greetings. We will make a place for her next to someone who is sure to be a kind representative of our class. We are the fortunate ones–we are gaining a new friend. She will bring a new voice to our class. Maybe she has been places we’ve never been. Maybe she has read stories that we’ve never read. She will become part of our community of learners and bring new ideas. Maybe she will even become someone’s new best friend.
Once upon a time, about 38 or so years ago, the new girl became my new best friend. New kids are a blessing…not a stressing.
But I’m going to go in extra early and make sure she at least has a desk!