To finish up a unit on money and markets in my newcomer English class, I recently assigned a reading called Tom, the Banana Seller from the African Storybook, an online repository of picture storybooks in African languages started by my TESL patron saint, Professor Bonny Norton. In this story Tom goes against cultural norms and sells his bananas in a market where previously only women sold goods.
Here were some of the responses students wrote:
I do not give up when I have low grade.
I do not give up when I don't understand math.
I do not give up when my mom go Ethiopia.
I do not give up when I speak English.
I do not give up when my father died.
I do not give up when I sick.
Reading their responses tonight got me thinking once again about all these students have experienced in their short lives and the myriad of daily stresses and blessings that fill their days here.
I hope their courage gives you heart for whatever you are facing.
Do not give up.