Amazing story of interpersonal giftedness

Picture this: a new student arrives mid year, emotionally scarred from past traumas, social service files inches thick and an obvious fish out of water in this new school. Looking different than everyone else at this middle school, her body language screams out rage mixed with fear and the threat of something bad if you approach.
A hush falls over the room as she enters; student stare, some gasp, some snicker. She shoots back a glare and an audible hiss establishes a physical and psychological danger zone.

Before the teacher can even get over to see her one student gets up, grabs an extra activity sheet, walks over to the student's desk and sits down. Handing her the sheet, he welcomes her, introduces himself, explains the activity, and starts chatting. She is unresponsive at first, but within 10 minutes, I see her smiling, hear an occasional chuckle, guarded, but much more at ease.

This young student was able to break through a seemingly impenetrable barrier and make the new student feel comfortable, when others would have given her a wide berth. It was a remarkable demonstration of interpersonal giftedness. He saw what she needed, was empathetic enough to act on that awareness, and skilled enough to make a difference.

I have so much to learn from these young people, each with their own gifts and challenges, their fears and enthusiasms.

And the call me the teacher... go figure.


  1. mmhefner says:

    Love this. There but for the grace of God go many of our young people. Your students are fortunate.


    • admin says:

      Thanks again, Melinda. It was such an amazing thing to see - reveals how much richer we are for exploring the periphery in addition to the core curriculum. All the best !

  2. MPNEngaged says:

    The interpersonal heroes certainly leave us hopeful! Great story!

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