Last week was my final week of summer camp. I had a really great group of students, they were enthusiastic, engaged, and energetic. I had started to get a little burned out from the amount of camps that I had been contracted to teach this summer, but this group made me really excited again about what we were doing together. The camp ran smoothly, students got to know each other and as a group, in the classroom, they worked together really well. We didn't hit a bump until recess the second to last day. I do not spend recess with the class, they go outside and I have the chance to set up and prepare for the next part of class. Then they return and we continue. On this particular day, students began to file into the classroom, about half were there when one girl started yelling at a boy in the room. I stopped it, but saw and could feel that something had happened that needed to be dealt with immediately or would boil over and continue. We talked about it. Everyone wanted to participate in telling the story of what happened, it started with a lot of "he said/she said" and "he did/she did". I told them that I wasn't there and that I would not get an accurate picture of what happened because it is all hearsay so I want to know what each of them did that may have contributed to what happened that wasn't right. The boys were the first to apologize, I think they had gotten angriest in the conflict. Then one by one, just about everyone in the class apologized for something that they had done that may have contributed to the circumstance. I was proud of them all for being able to acknowledge and reflect upon their roles in what had happened. It was a really great moment.

In that moment I also realized what a conscious choice healing is. I know that it took a lot for each student to apologize, but I think that for some it took more to accept those apologies. Healing is being able to see one's role in a hurt and to see another's path to how they acted in that hurt as well. Some of the students were more reluctant to move on than others, seemingly choosing to continue to feel their pain only, instead of acknowledging how many had felt bad and been hurt by what had happened. It is difficult when one has been hurt, seemingly for no reason, but life is full of joy and pain and we must learn how to healthily process both. I have to thank my students for highlighting this truth for me.