Yes, a departure from writing about my children.
Last week I went to work for a few hours to show off Charlie for a bit and to touch base with my substitute. As I sat listening in horror (and quite honestly, a little amusement) at the insanity that my students have created in the last few weeks. I reconfirmed my belief that I belong teaching middle school. I love the content of what I teach. I love seeing students grow as writers and readers and some even discover that their passion is reading and/or writing. What I love the most though, is seeing them change and grow. 7th grade, in my opinion, is one of the worst times in anyone's life. Being 12 and 13 sucks. You don't have the freedom you need to exercise the independence you want, but you also can't get away with being the cute little kid who doesn't know any better any more. You are caught between wanting to engage in the games and hobbies of elementary school but know you will be ridiculed if you do. You are curious about the things high school kids and adults do, but you can't or shouldn't do those either. If you're like me, you're almost 6 feet tall and the boys are all 5. It's just yucky. But from my perspective, this is what makes these guys so endearing. They are so awkward and cumbersome and struggling, but they are so open to learning and seeking out new connections. My friend and former administrator Tina Boogren now has a job in which one of her roles is to observe teachers around the country. I love this blog she wrote about a middle school classroom. I get that this teacher may seem cheesy and the activity would not at all appeal to everyone, but when I look at my students and how much they desperately need confirmation that they have amazing attributes others notice, I think it would be incredibly powerful. This teacher she writes about amazes me that she has set up such a safe culture in her classroom that kids are willing to speak this way about one another. I want to be able to do this. I have a new goal for my ELO class.
Thanks, Tina, for letting me share your blog. Tina's Blog