Julie Johnson writes: "It breaks my heart at the beginning of the school year when I hear students say, “I am not good at math.” or “I am a bad reader.” Just as bad is watching students sit in front of a blank sheet of paper, eyes brimming with fear (or sometime tears) telling me that they don’t have anything to write about and they are defeated before they even start. I know that I have my work cut out for me, but it’s a challenge I relish. I know that what I say and how I say it makes all the difference in the world. I know that my first goal with these students is to help them see that yes, those things might be hard right now, but we are going to work together and we are going to learn strategies that will help us tackle problems and make progress. My goal is for my students to see themselves as people who are ever changing, can reflect and learn from their mistakes, and can move forward no matter what."