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Next Time

Yesterday's post, Career Education High Five, was written at the end of September. At the end of the post I summed up by saying, "I shared lots of this with my students, but nothing about Tripp. I wanted to share him, but the one time I tried to include him I got choked up and couldn’t say it out loud. Life is a journey on which I am constantly learning. Maybe next time I will be in a place to share one of the most important people in my life."

Next time, which wasn't exactly the immediate, "next time", turned out to be this past Friday. I was introducing Health to my girls (I teach them PE/Career Ed/Health) and we are talking about relationships, the roles others see us playing (daughter, sister, student, athlete, etc.) and how we are all connected. For the first time in my teaching career I participated in a sharing circle. Each girl got an opportunity to share what relationships meant to them. It was a really cool experience. We then did an activity that had the girls map out how they were connected to each other using a First Nation's medicine wheel as the map.

I spent the whole lesson wishing the girls knew about Tripp. I have done so much thinking the last few months about relationships and how we are all connected. At first I wasn't sure if it was the right time, but as the lesson progressed, I began to feel that it was the day. When the time came to summarize the lesson I got choked up and just said it. 

I cried as I spoke. Some of the girls teared up. They avoided my eyes. My words made them uncomfortable - But I don't think in a way that they wished I hadn't said it. I don't know for sure how many of them had already known about Tripp. They were still in elementary school last year and wouldn't have known I was pregnant. But I know for sure one girl knew. She was in Hugh's class last year. I mentioned her knowing as I spoke of Tripp and saw her eyes fill with tears. It moved me. We are connected.

Class ended and my room drained of students. I sat at my desk and cried. It was hard to tell them, but it felt good at the same time. We had health yesterday and I felt confident recapping our lesson from Friday. I talked about relationships and the many ways we are all connected - including that all of us have suffered, whether it be the loss of a loved one, like my son, Tripp, or your parents getting divorced. We all are connected.


  1. I know for a fact that those girls were honored that you shared such private and meaningful thoughts with them. Best thing about working with kids (of any age); they love and respect you more when you share with them.

    Thank you for sharing with us.


  2. Good for you, Jordan. Sharing your story and Tripp's story is important, and your students are better people for knowing your journey. I use my Dad in my lessons, especially with my 12s, because I know they get it. And I am pretty sure that they appreciate knowing that I trust them enough to share such an important part of my life with them. (hugs) You did a good job.

  3. Hi Jordan,
    I think that is brave of you to share your 'vulnerability' with your students. They will see you more as a person, not just as 'a teacher'. I am sure they will always remember 'that special teacher' who was willing to be 'a real person' in their presence.
    Take care,
    Another teacher,
    Shelley F.


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