“No. We’re not going to restart.” Much as I value resilience, and much as I value student voice, I couldn’t imagine what they were thinking. A group of 14 middle schoolers, on their annual bonding overnight trip to Camp Becket, were trying to get across a 20-foot “lava river” using only six rubber dots about 10” in diameter. They were only allowed to step on the dots. If any of the dots were left untouched, even for a moment, they melted away (meaning Edie, the Camp Becket staff person supervising the group, took it back). They had gotten maybe nine people over but had just lost their fourth dot, meaning they were down to only two. How could they ever get five middle schoolers across a 20-foot lava river with only two safety dots?!?!
In my earlier post about the first day of classes with my Humanities 7 class, I mentioned that Alex Bogel, Academic Dean and IB Coordinator, was going to replicate one of our activities with his Junior Theory of Knowledge (“TOK)” class. They would use the white board and chalkboard to brainstorm on “how people learn,” and then work in groups to discern the various themes running through each panel.
(a poem by Amelia Opsahl '21, written for Karen Suchenski's Humanities 8 class)
I am from dusty New York Times newspapers in a precarious stack, displaced shoes and the smell of fried eggs.
As Bill Ivey's blog posts focus on all the different ways different people find things in common, the web of connections we see and create, and a belief in the ideals of intersectional feminism, he has chosen to group future blog posts under the heading and using the tag "Intersections." We hope you enjoy them!
Over time, in an effort to ensure students have plenty of time to let ideas form and express them, I’ve become much more comfortable with long silences. (By the way, this has spilled over into the rest of my life - for example, my son and I have been known every so often to spend part of our phone calls just quietly connected.) After one such silence in my Humanities 7 class yesterday, I said, “Okay, so I guess that’s everything we have to say about that.” and one of the students commented, “I think we’re still a little shy and scared.”
There’s so much I don’t know yet. Oh, I’ve exchanged emails with my new Humanities 7 students, whom I ask to choose a book they’ve read this summer and tell me about it and what they thought of it. As they signed off, many of them added that they’re excited for the new year, some of them going further to acknowledge “Not that I want the summer to end just yet.”
Normally, I’m not big on articles with titles like “12 Things That Will Disappear From Classrooms In The Next 12 Years.” But the link had been shared by Leslie Farooq, whom I’ve gotten to know and learned to trust through ongoing interactions and Twitter chats, and she had included an enticing quote - so I decided to click through and read it.
republished with the kind permission of MiddleWeb
Every spring, we ask our middle schoolers to look at each of their courses as well as other areas of their life, think back to September, and reflect on how far they’ve come and what they’d still like to accomplish before the year’s end.
(read more here)
Each year, we close the Eighth Grade Moving Up Ceremony with a poem assembling the words of the middle schoolers as they look back on this year, and look ahead to the next. This year's poem follows.
written and delivered by Yena (Molly) Li '17, Head of Student Body for the 2016-2017 school year.
Good morning everyone! My name is Molly Li, and I'm next year’s Head of Student Body. I was surprised how, when I started writing this speech, the first thing that came up to my mind was not how I liked the more freedom and wifi I had in Upper School, but how I’ve changed throughout these years. I remember three years ago, I was sitting here and waiting to become a freshman. At that time, I was very different from who I am now. I was weird, awkward and extremely quiet. I would not talk unless I’m a hundred percent sure what’s about to come out of my mouth is grammatically correct. Also, I would pass away just by thinking about giving a speech. However, throughout these three years, I had a lot of opportunities in which I learned how to push myself and to accept imperfections. Throughout these opportunities, I realized how amazing life is and how much we can stretch our limits.
As part of our middle school’s Founders’ Day tradition, the five- and six-year Seniors are invited to join us for lunch out by Bonnie’s House. They always seem to arrive radiating happiness, excited to be part of what many of them say is one of the favourite memories of middle school. This year’s kids were no exception, and they sat down together with a group of middle schoolers reminiscing about their own middle school years and asking this year’s kids about what they’ve been doing together. They added notes and signatures to recently tie-dyed t-shirts and played games. And they asked me if I remembered them.