But these are not the most important things I get to say on any given day.
The most important thing I ever get to say is something I actually got to say twice today — once at the beginning of first period in a student-parent-staff conference and at the end of the day as I was about to pull out of the parking lot.
I said it to two different students who are each on their own completely different journey right now.
Each had been missing from class for their own different reasons, but they both needed to hear this from me for the same reason.
What I told them was this:
when you are not there, you are missed.We miss your voice and your insights and your completely unique presence in the room.
We miss you because we need you.
Whenever you come back to us, we are happy to see you again because you bring something to the community that we need — something we cannot get from any other source.
We need you.
It never ceases to amaze me how many obstacles and complexities and self-defeating behaviors this kind of direct statement clears away.
When you find the opening to say something like this to an adolescent, take it. It's like dropping a pebble into a still pond.
You'll be amazed how far those ripples go.