What I Love

Hi. I’m Robin Leonard, and I teach 8th and 10th grade English at Westfield. I have been a part of Westfield for the last nine years, and I would like to share with you a few things about Westfield that I love.

One thing I love the most about Westfield is the students. True story: last week we collected donations for the American Heart Association. On Thursday one of my homeroom students (whom for privacy’s sake I shall call Mike) said, “Mrs. Leonard, here is some money. I need to donate.” I said, “But Mike, you already donated.” Mike replied, “Yeah, but I want to donate again.” Genuine selflessness. I love that. Another true story: on Friday one of my fifth period students said, “Hey Mrs. Leonard, how did your boys do at their baseball team tryouts?” Genuine concern. I love that. And one more true story for you: on Friday after school a young man whom I had taught seven years ago walked into my classroom just to say hi. Genuine friendship. I love that. I really do. And those are just random excerpts from two random days at my job. Yet that is largely exactly  how my days are at Westfield. And I love that.

But let me tell you what I somewhat selfishly love just as much. My husband and I have two young boys who are 7 and 9 nine years old. Wilt is a third grader, and Law is in the second grade. And they love Westfield. They love it. And we love that. I find that I cannot explain what it is like as a mother to see your children so seamlessly content. My boys love their school. And they are learning things that amaze me. It’s not multiplication tables I’m talking about here, and it’s not the inner workings of a volcano (although they both have learned that, and I realized some rather interesting volcanic facts right along with them, actually). But I’m talking about something that’s actually more difficult to teach. I find that what they are learning is selflessness. They’re learning about concern. They’re learning about friendships. Those kinds of lessons have so much value, I think. They bring in canned goods on First Fridays. And they understand why. A new student joins one of their classes, and they make sure that they speak to him on the playground at recess. And they understand why. They see my own students daily, kids whom I teach, and they speak to them first. They have the confidence to do that, and they know that these kids will speak in return to them. And they do, which is so cool to me. My boys have a sense of belonging, a sense of community, and a sense of friendship immediately at their school. I love that. I suspect that right now my boys have no idea how fortunate they are, but I know that one day they will realize it. And I am glad about that.

So those are things I love. Now, to be sure, I love other stuff too, like naps, Starbucks, and…well, naps. But seriously, if you could see Westfield the way my boys see Westfield, then you would surely love it too. We are lucky, my friends. We really are.


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