Every one of my students voted today. Every one. It was really amazing to watch their pride as they left the voting booth with shining smiles.
Two of my students leave the classroom on Wednesday morning to read with a volunteer for about twenty five minutes, and when his Reading Buddy joined our class in line on the way to the voting, Antonio looked at me in a panic, "But I need to vote!" he said.
"Oh, you will," I told him. "You get to be one of the first."
At the end of the vote, we all lined up to head back to our classroom and every student stuck an I voted sticker on their shirt. I wish you could have seen them walking proudly down the hallway back to our classroom. Some of them even strutted.
And here, here is what struck me the most today: I have a little boy in my class that has been having a rough time over the past couple of weeks. We had a meeting this afternoon with his family, and invited the little boy in at the end to talk about how we were going to support him.
At the end of the talk, as things were winding down, this little boy turned to his father, unzipped his jacket and showed his sticker. "Look, Daddy," he said, "I voted today."
In spite of everything going on for him (and believe me, there is a lot), he knew that voting mattered, that it was important.
On Tuesday? I'm going to be him. I'm going to wear my sticker proudly and say the very same thing.