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Teacher-student connection

I spend ten minutes talking to my students about the importance of hard work, which I do quite often.

“One of the things I fear most,” I tell the kids, “is discovering that one day, far in the future, you didn’t reach your potential. I want you all to make your dreams come true. I believe in you. But you need to do the work to make it happen.”

Five minutes later, we’re walking in line down the hallway to art class. I’m still discussing the importance of hard work with one of my students. Then I turn to the kid behind us – one of my hardest workers by far – and say, “Remind your friend. What do I fear most?”

Without missing a beat, he says, “Death.”

Like a dagger to my heart.

He must see his words’ effect on my face because he quickly adds, “What? It’s true. You’re terrified of death.”

It’s May.

My students know me so well.