The 2017 Reaching The Wounded Student Conference gathered educators, administrators, counselors, and other professionals from across the United States and Canada. A constant theme in the feedback from attendees was that the energy and passion of this conference was like no other! Dardi and I appreciate hearing this because our goal has always been and will continue to be to provide diverse session opportunities that send everyone out with not only head knowledge, but a heart full of HOPE for the children they serve as well as themselves. While there were many highlights at this year's conference, I want to share this powerful poem written and read by Pedro during the closing session:
My name is Pedro Jarquin. I'm with Enterprise High School. I'm an English and Art History teacher out of Clearwater. There's a million things that I've taken away from this conference. It's been an amazing, eye-opening experience for me. But one of the first things that really struck me was: the first day here on Sunday, Dr. Hendershott was talking about empathy and how students are constantly asking, "Do you feel me? Do you feel me? Do you feel me?" And this really resonated with me. We have that experience a lot in our classrooms. Someone took that empathy on me at some point; a teacher did, and it's the reason I'm a teacher today. So I wanted to share something back with you guys. This is a little bit of my story, captured in an everyday story that we go through in our classrooms. It's called, "In What Way?"