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One morning, in early 2008, when I was visiting one of our KIPP schools in Houston Texas, a small group of 5th grade boys proudly took me on a tour of their Middle School. 

Our first stop was at the enormous mural of Frederick Douglass on the front entrance hallway painted by a local man who otherwise hung out on the streets. The boys vividly told me Mr. Douglass' story.

A few minutes later, I spotted a photograph of President Obama on the far wall of a large multipurpose room. I turned to the boys and asked: 


What do you think Mr. Douglass would be saying about President Barack Obama? Without skipping a beat, 10 year-old Marquis excitedly blurted out: Why, Mr. Douglass -- He'd be speakless! 

This is a moment that I cherish of all the thousands of moments in my work in education. Marquis understood so much in that moment, creating language to express it.

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