I always end each of my classes that I teach every day the same exact way. Once the chaos of transitioning to the next class has finished and the students are sitting quietly at their seats, I look at each of them in the eyes and say, “Remember that each and every one of you are loved.” This simple statement is always the last thought I want to leave them with every day. At the beginning of the school year I end my first class by telling my students that they are loved by God, family, friends and the staff at San Miguel School. One of my students the other day forgot why I end my classes the same way and asked me, “Why do you say that?” This question gave me the time to process not only the question, but the past two years as a Lasallian Volunteer.
It is hard in life to always remember that you are loved by others. We all have our challenges and obstacles that we must overcome. Overcoming challenges is hard to do alone, but it is much easier to do with the love and support of others behind you. My students have had to experience hardships I could never imagine at such a young age. The baggage that they bring into school at times would crush anyone if having to deal with it alone. This is the exact root reason why I tell my students that they are loved. Even when you feel like you’re drowning under the stresses that being a young person can bring, always remember you are loved. Even when you and your family experience some form of personal loss or tragedy, remember that you are loved. Even when you feel utterly alone at home or school, remember that you are loved. You have a God who loves you. You have a family who loves you. You have a group of friends who love you. You have teachers and mentors at school who love you.
I remind my students that they are loved every day because I believe that everyone deserves to hear those words every day. God created us in his image and likeness out of his love for us. He has endowed us with the ability and gift to share that love with each other. Even though my time here at San Miguel School is drawing to an end, the one lesson I want to leave my students with is to remember that they are loved, but to also share that love with others. By remembering that we are all loved we not only build ourselves up, but also each other. The goal for me as a Lasallian educator is for my students to continue to spread that love to all by remembering that they themselves are also loved. This is my professional and life mission that I will continue to do as an educator for the rest of my days.
I will leave you with the same thought that I leave my students with….
Remember that each and every one of you are loved.
You are loved.
Liam Wintroath is a second-year volunteer at San Miguel School in Chicago, Illinois. He is a 2017 graduate of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.