According to Webster, the word trust is defined as the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc. Today was a really good day at school. Albeit, I think part of that was because I was absent yesterday and came back today knowing that I was closer towards the end of the week, but it was beyond that. Today was good because yesterday I started writing in my gratitude journal. According to the research that I have read, people who consistently make a record of the things in their life in which they are grateful, are more happy and healthy. I take my health very importantly and I made a concerted decision to start doing the same with my happiness. Overall, I’m a pretty happy person, but I wanted to start internalizing the aspects of my life for which I am grateful.

Today, I was provided with some amazing content to record in my journal later today. I won’t go into explicit detail, but I will share that after school while tutoring, a student really opened up to me about their life. That student recounted their experiences of abuse, loss, and depression. I was completely taken aback by that student’s candidness. No matter how many students tell me their story, it amazes me each time to actually read or hear all of the things in which they have overcome. Like I told that student today for sharing their story with me, I was elated to proclaim that the student is a survivor. The life that they have lived may have been tough and filled with turmoil, but they have continued to press forward with each new day and take it for what it is, a new day.

Before the student left for the day, I asked why they had decided to share that information with me. The answer they gave was simple, yet complex.

“I trust you Mr. Powell. You said from day one that our class is about respect.I believed that.”

As I heard that golden nugget, I was in awe. I may not have everything together and God knows there are many areas in which I could grow and get better. But, I can say that for some reason students are drawn to me and share things that they may not share outside their family.

Not sure how all of this ties together with my aspirations to write full-time, but I am learning that it’s not my job to have all the answers. All I need to do is be present.


  1. Such a wonderful post and beautiful testimony. Your students are likely drawn to the light, positivity, authenticity, and graciousness you exude…the lessons they are learning simply by observing your words and actions are equally, if not more impactful than anything you will teach them in a textbook. Keep up the amazing work :).

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