“Got it.”

photo (4)I shouldn’t be surprised when the kids impress me. It happens all the time. It’s just that more than two decades into my life as a public educator the ease with which students show brilliance still astounds me.

When it happened today I was in our newly remodeled media center with our superintendent. I was quietly showing off the improvements to the space, which thanks to the campus-life-altering Proposition AA approved by local voters is the technological and educational center of our campus. A group of 7th grade science students were there, using Chromebooks to establish their usernames and passwords and be wowed by the bandwidth we now have. As the superintendent took photos I walked around the room, slipping into teacher mode to help students find the links they’d need to log in.

At one table, sitting serenely by an open Chromebook, a girl said hello to me and smiled. I saw an opportunity to help. Confused, I thought. She doesn’t know where to start. She stopped me as I swooped in to offer advice about how to find her ID number, develop a password, and set up her student account. “I got it,” she said. “I did this last night on my iPad.”

It was a complicated process. Ms. Coy, who runs our library was leading students through the steps. I’d seen her work with classes before and was sure this wasn’t something to be done without help. “Really?” I asked, looking up to catch Ms. Coy’s attention, hoping not to be caught on camera by the supe looking puzzled.

Really. She had. Perfectly.

And then, as this marvelous 12 year old introduced herself to me, I realized just how fortunate our world is to have such incredible kids populating our future. I’m a big Louis Armstrong fan, and the line from one of his most famous songs floated through my mind:

 

I see babies cry,

I’ll watch them grow,

They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know,

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

 

I walked over to the superintendent and told him what had happened. He smiled. “She’s smarter than me,” I said. “That’s right,” he replied. “That’s how it should be.” And I had that feeling I shouldn’t be surprised by anymore. Impressed and inspired.

What a wonderful world.

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