Today the student who knew all of our names the very first day of class because of his incredible memory arrives in class at just the right time. It’s so hot and muggy, and I’m feeling drained enough to curl up under the desk for a quick, cool nap. (Additionally, we’re all still nervous and insecure around each other; we’ve just had three days of class time.)
But this student brings the laughter and the energy just when we’re all fading. And then, I hear this: “Who wants to have lunch together after class?” He extends the invitation to one and all; he doesn’t discriminate as his smile bounces from student to student. Now, everyone gathers to make plans like they’re some family and not a class of freshmen randomly assembled. Everyone responds to his genuine invitation.
It feels that everyone has a place to go–to belong–and even if they couldn’t make that particular lunch event, at least they knew they were wanted.
Now, they’re all laughing and talking and connecting. It’s the third day of class, and already, there’s something special happening here.
Students who build community right there in class just make me happy.