In my junior high classroom, Grandparents’ Day fell on a Friday, and every Friday my students read aloud their writing assignments from that week in small groups. I assigned a short essay on how my students see their grandparents in themselves, and that Friday invited the attending grandparents to come and listen to the essays read aloud in writing.
One particular student, let’s call him Steve, seemed nervous. Steve had come to our school as a new student the year before, and as he mounted the podium to speak, he practically dropped his tablet on another grandparent! In his essay, he talked about how thankful he was to his grandfather, who helped pay the tuition to our private school, because his parents could not afford it on their own, and Steve said this was important because he believed our school had literally saved his life.
The class was hushed when he sat down. After a moment, another student raised their hand and asked, “How did the school save your life?”
Steve said, “I was bullied really badly at my previous school, and didn’t have any friends, and it was terrible.” His grandfather put his hand on Steve’s shoulder.
And another student blurted out, “I’ll be your friend Steve!”