[one_column]Sometimes, the lives of the students we serve are changed through the quality of the education they receive. And sometimes, very often in fact, the change comes when relationships are transformed, and when teachers are equipped to journey with students through even the biggest challenges.
In one of the schools we work in, there was a Primary 6 student who had dropped out of school. Though he would return occasionally, his attitude was poor, and his behavioural issues caught the attention of one of his teachers. This teacher was in the midst of his training with Wellspring, and at that point was being trained in student management. Teachers who have been steeped in Wellspring culture understand that every single child has value and potential, and this particular teacher was no exception. He felt compelled to befriend this student who was often absent from class, or who caused disturbances when he was present. Over time, the teacher and the student built a relationship based on trust and respect, and it was in the context of that trusting relationship that the student confessed his addiction to drugs and alcohol – a common issue in many urban schools.
With support from his teachers, this young student was able to break away from the addictions that were controlling him, and he began to attend school regularly. As the effects of the drugs wore off, his behaviour in class changed dramatically. He realised that the teachers cared about him and loved him, and he began to reciprocate this affection both to his teachers and peers. Eventually, this student was named class mentor, which meant that he was responsible for opening and closing the school. He also became one of the top performing students in his class, and recently passed the exams that allowed him to progress to senior high school!
Transformation is happening in remarkable ways – in schools, in classrooms, and in the lives of students who could so easily have been left behind.