I can’t help but tell my students I am proud of them
I say it so often because I want them to be sick of hearing it. I think surprises are for holidays and birthdays not for self esteem. More often than that, if not just as much I say “You should be proud of yourself.” They have lives similar to my own only they return to it every day whilst I was able to escape mine for months at a time.
I am so fortunate that they come to school and class when they do because my life and this world is better for it.