Do the Students that stand out stand a chance?

This is the first week for most teachers, but in many areas school has been in session for some time.  We have now been introduced to new coworkers, parents and most importantly, new students.  Each year, when I see the students that I will be working with, I look forward to understanding their needs.   
In most cases, many of the students are vocal about what they want and need in a teacher, but there are few students who stand out more than others.  They ask really telling questions or require extra attention when doing small tasks.  These are the students that may have parents that hang around a little longer than expected.  They may take a bit longer to sit or prepare for the lesson.  They are also the students that are apprehensive about coming through the door each morning. These are the students that become your stories or pull at your heart strings.  Because these students stand out, do they stand a chance?  Do we place our students in boxes in the same way that we place adults in specific categories?  If this is the case, many times, as adults, we are left struggling to prove that we are different than what was previously thought. 

In life, it is easy to meet people, or in our case, students and place them in categories based on initial interactions.  These interactions do not write the story for the remainder of the year.  We cant box our students in the way we box in coworkers, friends or family.  We have to allow them the opportunity to evolve.  Many times the students that stand out and cause concerns may end up being the students that exceed your expectations.  Day one does not determine what will happen for the remainder of the year.  I encourage you to allow all of your students the opportunity to grow, even the ones that stand out on the first day!  They just might surprise you.   

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