Some of the most poignant moments for me at this year’s Educon (aside from all that went on in the conversations,) were seeing the ways that students who are not always in the mainstream of SLA became hosts and leaders as hundreds of visitors from across North America came to visit our building. It was powerful to see some students who have had huge struggles with personal and academic issues during some of their time at SLA proudly leading guests through the building as they described SLA culture and academics.
These small moments were such an important reminder for me to catch myself before I make assumptions related to motivation and engagement. Students who seem to be detached and uncaring have (like all of us) many different levels of experience that coexist at once. When given a real world opportunity to excel and create themselves anew the results can be unexpectedly wonderful.