Friday, September 25, 2009

26 thoughts from 26 days

It was another great week in middle school at Providence Day. I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching student council candidates put up signs, campaign, and give speeches. I enjoyed talking with the 6th graders about harassment, and I loved watching the kids enjoy themselves at our first dance. The school year is already flying by, and I thought that a good way to share my experiences was to highlight 26 small tidbits about my first 26 days in middle school. Here goes:

1. Middle school students possess boundless energy...and it somehow gets lost when they are juniors & seniors (at least in my teaching experience).

2. Middle school students enthusiastically say hello to you when you say hello to them...sometimes they even say hi first.

3. 6th graders are very literal. When you tell someone that you "need a pass to leave school," they won't leave without the pass (even if you know that their parents are picking them up for an appointment).

4. Middle school students ask LOTS of questions in class.

5. Middle school teachers at PDS are gifted teachers and special people...and have a considerable amount of patience.

6. The most popular food selections for middle school students are as follows: pizza, whatever is on the grill, and ice cream. Last on the list would be vegetables.

7. Middle school students are great with technology...age clearly doesn't give you any advantage in this area.

8. I love how middle school students "dream big" when it comes to careers (i.e. "i'm going to be an orthopedic surgeon OR a botanist" and "I'm going to be an interior designer if I don't make it as an actress."

9. I love how many of the 6th graders have no idea what their parents do in their careers. When asked, I got answers like "I don't know, but my dad wears a suit and my mom doesn't." It makes me realize as a parent what really matters to my kids.

10. I love how middle schoolers decorate lockers for birthday celebrations, and shower each other with cupcakes, donuts, and gifts.
11. Axe is very popular amongst the middle school boys. I don't remember having so many great options for deodorant and cologne...this stuff sure beats my dad's Old Spice.
12. Middle school kids can dance, and there are far less "wallflowers" during dances than I expected.
13. Middle school kids still "go out" with other classmates. I find myself saying the same annoying thing to the students that my own parents said to me: "where are you going?"
14. Songs that were popular when I was in middle school are still popular now (loved watching kids dance to "Don't Stop Believing" and "Bohemian Rhapsody," and doing the Electric Slide last night).
15. I noticed that middle school kids text a lot...even when they are standing next to each other:)
16. I don't know of another time in school when students so close in age are so developmentally different than with 6th and 8th graders...its one of the many things that make middle school special.
17. Many middle school kids manage to eat lunch in 10 minutes and play for the other 35 minutes.
18. Contrary to popular belief, middle school students do like to read...jut ask them about Twilight or the Last Olympians.
19. Although they might not admit it at home, middle school students are proud of their siblings and their families...and love to talk about them.
20. Middle school students are capable of higher level thinking.
21. The flu preparation assembly has clearly worked for middle school students. I stopped counting the number of times that students have reminded me to "gel in and gel out. "
22. Staying organized appears to be a consistent challenge for many middle school students, especially the boys.
23. Being a K-12 campus is beneficial to middle school students. It provides them with a daily example of not only where they've been, but where they are going.
24. You need a strong sense of humor to work with middle school students. There is no way that you can make it through a day without laughing...or you'll go insane.
Well, I didn't make it to 26, but I hope the 24 I've provided give you an idea of how exciting my middle school experience has been thus far. The picture is from Max Patch, a beautiful mountain near Hot Springs, NC. It has absolutely nothing to do with PDS or middle school life, but I love the picture of the setting sun (my wife, Samantha, took it). Have a great week and thanks for reading,

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