Our fourth- and fifth-grade choir is made up of some select students who have demonstrated musical aptitude and an ability to perform in a large group setting. Today, they performed at our town's MLK celebration event. They did their usual fabulous job, but what struck me especially today was the amazing diversity in the backgrounds and lives of these kids. In addition to their diverse racial makeuip , I counted:
- A boy with a learning disability
- A girl who has experienced homelessness
- A barrel racer
- A recent immigrant
- A national wrestling champion
- A boy with AD/HD
- A couple of TAG kids
- A girl whose mother regularly uses methamphetamines
And yet, despite these differences, they performed with an impressive unity of sound. These kids are just good together. It wasn't their backgrounds that brought them together, but their collective commitment to a single purpose.
In the classroom, we celebrate these kids' successes and put an arm around them when they're down. We don't expect less from a student because of their background. Sometimes we need to work harder to help them get reach their educational potential, but we never let them get away with giving less than their best. I'm reminded that, on this MLK day, we expect excellence from all of our kids.