I glance up and see her.
She laughs and I realize she is not even one of my students, she is a seventh grader .
"Hi Miss, I just want to see if you would notice me."
"I see you. How are you doing?"
"Good. I just wanted to see if you would notice me."
I notice her. I love this kid. Teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but if I did, she definitely would have been one of mine.
I notice her. She is a reader. She read every single Rick Riordan series last year and is working her way through Harry Potter this year.
I notice her. She is a typical creative genius, a million things on her plate. She would come in, last year, every day, with multiple backpacks, not to mention her lunch. By 9:00 she would have stuff strewn across the room-- an embroidery project, her tablet so she could work on her latest drawing, a sketch book and colored pencils. All of us learned to just work around her island of stuff. And we knew she would be the last person out of the room every afternoon because it took her a while to pack up.
I notice her. The soccer player who would kick butt at lunch recess.
I notice her. The planner who organized and bought tickets and paid for a four day trip to a city 1000 miles away, so she, her mom, and sister could visit her mom's boyfriend for a birthday weekend.
I notice this kid. I adore her. and I have heard that this year is not going as well. That there have been lots of conflicts between her and classmates. And between her and other kids. I am surprised.
She gets up and stands closer to me.
"What are you reading?" she asks.
I hold up AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS I am about halfway through the book. I am usually not a fantasy reader, but I am loving this book. I know that P, who is a fantasy lover, will love it too.
"You have to read this," I say. "This reminds me a little of Percy Jackson. There's this girl…" I give her a brief plot summary.
She is excited. And a little dramatic. "Oh my gosh, I have to read that. Will you save it for me? I want to read it."
I promise I will save it for her.
"OK, I gotta eat lunch. I just wanted to say hi."
And with that, she is gone.
The repetition of the words "I notice her" is proof that you not only notice her, but you haven't forgotten her. Some kids just need a little more noticing. I love Amari too, and I am not a fantasy reader either.
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