Relationships...

I have found that building a bridge with my teenaged students is paramount to helping them achieve success. When someone other than a family member genuinely cares about their lives and what goes on with them, it makes a difference- even if it's just a brief smile in their direction. I'm not all that, believe me, but I have an innate ability to connect with youth- prolly was born with it! I want my students to know that I am there for them. I want them to be able to look back to their high school years and say, "That Hughes teacher was always in my business, (they don't really say this, lol) but no really, it was cool of her. She made an impact on my life." THAT is the ultimate high five- when a student comes up to you years later and thanks you, saying they appreciated you being there for them. It's a marathon, not a sprint and it's not always easy to build relationships, but it is ultimately rewarding in the long run.  My students are ROCK STARS!!!! :)