Oh, Labor Day weekend...there is something about a Monday off work that lulls me into a false sense of security. Last night, I had completely convinced myself that I was all ready for this short week. Alas, at 11 p.m., one of the teachers on my team emailed me her part of our discussion questions, which reminded me that I, too, has discussion questions to write. Oops....
Fortunately, the questions were written and all was well today at the middle school. One thing I've noticed about this particular group of students is their willingness to please. I tried from Day One to build a rapport with all of my students. I truly do believe that a mutual respect goes a long way, but I have been both impressed and amazed by how promptly this group of kids, whether low or high achieving, has turned in their assignments and prepared for class. I mentioned this to my principal last week, and her response was "well maybe they want to impress you..."
Maybe they do want to impress me. Maybe they just have very involved parents. Or maybe I'm just getting to a place where I have enough guts to back up my classroom policies. Last year, I had a homework policy, but I also was a big softy when it came to late work. I would rather a kid turn something in a month late and learn something than never turn it in at all. I guess I'll never know the reason why these kids are so awesome, but I sure hope they keep it up all year. It's making my school life so wonderfully pleasant right now.
In addition to their excellent on-time-homework-record, this group of students also possesses a stellar collective sense of humor. Today, in an effort to quietly hand back papers during 8th period, I asked the students to come get their papers "silent Ninja style," which meant that they were required to be both stealthy and silent. I am not lying when I tell you that those boys were sneaking behind chairs and silently karate-chopping their way to the front of the room. One student even did a forward roll out of his chair to get his paper, and I didn't even care because it was absolutely silent. Silent Ninja paper hand-out was the most quiet I had in my classroom all day. I think this is a perfect example of why I adore 7th grade. There's still a sense of wonder in learning and a desire to be silly and play and be a child. At the same time, they want the respect that comes with growing up. They don't want to be babied, and that's important for me, the girl who professes to be neither a shoe-tier or a hand holder. So I guess there's really no "wisdom from the middle"in this entry. There is only a renewed realization that I am so very blessed to have this job and to feel perfect for my purpose. There is no better realization to stumble upon anew each day.