It's the end of the school year, which means I'm really busy and don't have much time to blog this week. I'll get back to it next week. In the meantime, since it's the end of the school year, I wanted to repost an old post of mine... and old to my middle school teachers:
Middle school is where you start to grow up. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade are those hormonal years where you don't understand your own body, you don't understand the world around you, and yet you think you're the coolest thing on earth.
Or you have no confidence whatsoever.
My middle school years weren't any different from that, but I had some really great teachers to help guide me through those years.
I remember learning about developing your own photographs, real hands on stuff. And learning about how to build something from scratch, where you're given a task (build something that will roll ten feet and pop a balloon--using a mousetrap), and you have to come up with a way to complete.
I learned about failure. The balloon didn't pop. Not having the right notebook for a notebook check.
But when failure came, teachers were there to guide me through it. One teacher, right after failing me gave me a new notebook and a guideline of how to pass next time.
And, when the most tragic of events happened--a student in our 8th grade class died--our teachers were there to guide us through.
The day after his death, our teachers were there to talk with us. To help us with our grief. They allowed students to write poems, to discuss their feelings, to hug if it was needed.
And weeks later, when the students went to City Hall to plead for a walkway over the highway where the student died, the teachers watched. They didn't need to say anything. Didn't need to acknowledge it.
But one cut out the news article the next day. Posted it on her bulletin board and just wrote next to it... "I'm proud of you!"
And it was the right amount of care and the right amount of guidance.
Years later, that same teacher gave me the best advice about teaching 8th Grade. She wasn't even talking to me when she said it.
"Sometimes you just want to tell them to act their age," she said. "Then you realize... they are."