About a year and a half ago, I was asked to sit in on a conference between a student and her parents. This was not an unusual request, as I am often asked to sit in on parent meetings and conferences. This, however, was different.
The teacher sat back as the student spoke eloquently about the work she had done that year, ways her work had grown and improved, and things she still needed to work on. Finally, she spoke about her goals for the next year. The adults in the room, including me, were welling up with tears at her poise and confidence. I asked what she had learned about herself, and she replied, “I never thought I was smart before, but now I know everyone is smart in their own way, and I am, too.”