Behind the behaviour – seeing our students

I see you.
I see you trying.
I see you fidgeting.
I see you working hard.
I see you fighting the floor.
I see you being a peace maker.
I see you standing up to bullies.
I see you waiting for snack time.
I see your random acts of kindness.
I see you struggling to pay attention.

I see you trying to find the space where you fit in.
I see you when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep.
I see you watching the seconds slowly tick as time crawls.
I see you throwing things because words have escaped you.
I see you searching for representation in the books you read.
I see you when you are trying to make the distractions vanish.
I see you walking off your school bus with an emotionless face.
I see you when you arrive to school without warm winter wear.
I see you taking extra long water fountain and bathroom breaks.
I see you when you come to school without having a morning meal.

I see you working to make your classroom and school a better place.
I see your desire to move about, doodle or make things with your hands.
I see you looking around the room for something else to do. Anything else.
I see you in your worst in best moments as you learn and grow as a learner.
I see you trying to understand that one student who just doesn’t fit in. Yet.
I see you avoiding difficult things because of a fear of having the wrong answers.
I see you writing notes to comfort someone who is feeling down and needs a friend.
I see you getting frustrated when things don’t go as well as you thought they would at first.
I see you when you come to school exhausted after a previous night’s music, sports or tutoring.

I see you because you matter to me.
I see you because it matters to be seen.
I see the potential in you even when you don’t.
And if I see it, so do others. Now you matter to all of us.
We see you.

Love your teacher(s).

Updated: November 22, 2018 — 4:52 pm

The Author

Will Gourley

J/I lead learner and SERT at Adrienne Clarkson PS in the YRDSB. Focused on disruptive, and divergent modern learning. Member of the global TED-Ed(Club) movement, 1 of 110 TED Ed Innovative Educators, and Global Math Project Ambassador. Twitter @willgourley Proudly blogging here and at

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