I have a girl in one of my classes who is a teacher’s kid. On Friday when her mom came to pick her up from parent pick-up in our room, she said, “H, did you show them your emotion journal?” Her daughter opened her backpack and showed us a little journal with a clasp.

In the front page she echoed some messages of positivity from the poster that I made for my kids. There were statements like, “You are doing your best,” “It’s okay to make mistakes,” and, “You don’t have to have everything figured out right now.”

Her mom went on to say that something I had said — When your emotions won’t stop bouncing around in your head, it can be helpful to write them down. It helps you to figure things out better, and it helps you to stop obsessing about things. — led H to want a place to write down her worries, her anxieties, and also the things that excite her.

It had never occurred to suggest something so awesome to my students, that’s down to the genius of a girl like H, who’s quiet, who keeps to herself, who will participate only when called on. In these Covid times, it can be easy to feel like you’re not connecting with your students. If you’re teaching in a Coach Taylor way (Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!) your students listening more than you know, and you are connecting more than you know.

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