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Every day kids move invisibly a tiny step closer to adulthood. So you never know what you’re going to get. You never know if today is the day they suddenly like spinach after years of saying no to it. You cannot tell by just looking, so it is a little dangerous to think the kid you are talking to today is the same kid you were talking to yesterday. It just might not be.

So at school I have to keep open the possibility that one of my students, instead of flipping her hair and turning on her heel in exit, may instead stop to talk about our work in class together, contributing even more to her own learning. I need to remain ready for that. Teenagers are on the brink of adulthood so some days you get an Elmo tee-shirt wearing kid discussing Faulkner and some days you get a fashionable looking young adult playing classroom pranks.

You just never know. Today could be the day a kid steps a little closer to her future, and if it is, I’d like to be there to cheer her on.