Book of the Week:

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama. Have you heard of her??

Song of The Week:

“Girls Like Me” by H A L I E

My roommate and I have gotten into the show “Songland”. If you have not seen it, you absolutely need to. It’s spectacular.

Two weeks ago a 19-year-old girl took the Songland stage and she expressed with tears building up, “I want it so bad. I don’t have a plan B.”

Ryan Tedder (One Republic) looked at her and said, “Well that’s the magic quote right there. I don’t have a plan B. This is such a crazy career path if you have a plan B, your plan A will not work. Because the second it gets too hard, you will run for that plan B.”

We also watched Michelle Obama’s documentary, “Becoming” on Netflix. In it she tells the story of a counselor who told her she was not Princeton material. Anyone could assume that the comment did not go over well with the future first lady. She proved her wrong and graduated from both Princeton and Harvard in the pursuit of her dreams.

It reminded me of a teacher who laughed when I told her I wanted to be the next Oprah. She told me I would change my mind. I did change my mind, but not because of her. My dreams and aspirations simply changed.

Sometimes I do this with my own students prompting questions as to say, what is your plan B? “Ok, so you want to be Youtube star, what else interests you?” Or, “You want to play for the NBA but did not play basketball this year. Sure.” We get cynical as adults and focus on the statistics over the person.

“That’s why I tell people we focus too much on stats and not story. Stats are like, ‘What college are you from?’ but your story is like ‘What was your grandfather like?’ ‘Who was your favorite relative and why?'”-Michelle Obama

Young people are not statistics, they are comprised of highs and lows, pain, and joy. They are beautiful, well-rounded, multifaceted individuals.

Kids need at least one person to believe in their dreams. To look at them and say, “You’ve got something special in you. I don’t know how you will use it, but I so hope that you do.” They need adults who speak into their lives through raised standards and an endless amount of faith in them. Regardless of where they grew up, how well they did on that last math test, or who their parents are. They mean something and they are becoming someone.

Dear Teens In My Life,

I might ask you questions about your dreams.

I might tell you stories of others I know and what they did to succeed.

I might share with you that my dream changed and that it’s okay if yours does too.

I might ask much of you at times as you fiercely pursue your plan A.

But I will believe in the power of you.

I will ask you to hold on to hope and to acknowledge you are the change in this world.

I will ask you all about your story and look forward to the day you decide to share it.

You are God’s plan A for the world. He did not have a backup in mind for you. You with your bright eyes, dreams, and wishes made on dandelions. You are His first plan. So let’s invest in our plan A like there is no plan B for our lives. Let’s live like we are becoming the people all our stories will one day be about. I for one cannot wait to meet those people.

Watching 8th graders become amazing humans.
Here’s to the class of 2024.

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