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He was the student who drove you completely crazy.
He was annoying
and an under-achiever.
He was a little boy wrapped in a cloak of bravado that pushed people away because he had been let down so many times. He came to my 4th grade classroom with a file a mile thick and a chip on his shoulder just as big.
Josh and I spent many, many recesses together working on his daily work or his attitude or his apology to another staff member. When he realized that I wasn't budging from his desk no matter what kind of growl he dished out we came to an agreement
and then we came to appreciate one another
and finally he came to trust me.
And then he moved.
He just disappeared in the spring.
At the start of the next school year - on one of the early days in August when I was working in my room I got a phone call at school from Josh's new school principal. We had a great conversation - I was able to share a bit about who Josh was - not just what his file said.
That conversation was probably 15 years ago - but I still remember the final sentence from that long forgotten principal, "Wow! You really knew him, Josh was lucky to be in your class."
That sentence has come back to me at hard moments. I am proud of the relationship we built together that year! And I hope that there are times when Josh remembered that 4th grade classroom and Mrs. S!! I certainly haven't forgotten him!!