Three years ago, her report card said “Nicole is reluctant to speak up in class”. She was tentative, never raising her hand, never sure enough that she knew the answer.

Today, at parent teacher conference, we heard words like “confident, leader, self-assured, contributes willingly to class discussion, mature beyond her years, raises her hand for almost every question, and consistently does exceptional work.” The word “reluctant” never came up.

And I got a little choked up.

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