Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We have a need to belong

At the learning center, the students gathered from the morning, afternoon and evening classes for the year end barbecue and celebration. For most of the students they had not seen success in the mainstream education system but they valued education. The slide show of the year in pictures started and I watched as the students eyes lit up when they saw themselves, or their friends, laughter rang out as the years highlights flashed onto the screen. Welcome Barbecue, Halloween antics, Xmas with Santa, kayak trips, softball games, class work every month was highlighted. Students as well as teachers laughed and appeared to be excited about the slides. Awards were given out and students joined in the celebrations for the students who were being recognized. This could have been any school. At lunch the weather was not cooperating so the students lined up to get the food and raffle ticket and then returned into the common room to eat. As the lineup was not planned for the execution of the made up plan did not go smoothly and only then did I see a few students react by swearing and pushing. The teachers with a word and a look soon took control and peace was established. The students seemed to enjoy the lunch and were appreciative of the teachers and the staff who had helped them be successful.

These students felt like they belonged and worked hard to be successful to live up to the expectations of the staff and teachers. I was reminded of how important the need to belong is in all of us both youngsters and boomers.

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