February 10, 2015 by Bill Ivey

Two seventh graders burst into the middle school office with that combination of a rush of energy and proud smiles that make me instantly put aside whatever else I might be doing. “Bill, Bill, we figured it out! Everyone’s a little bit bisexual!”

“Explain,” I said, smiling back.

“Well, we figure everybody likes people of their same gender, so…!” and they spread their arms in a “See?!” gesture.

Pause. I give them my “I love your enthusiasm for this idea but there’s this one little thing of which you haven’t thought yet…” look, but before I can speak, one of them says,

“Oh, right. But that might not mean being attracted to someone.”

“Exactly,” I say. “Unless you “like like” that person.”

They go on to explore various possibilities, and one of them responds to my reminder that asexual people also exist by saying, “Oh, right! And some are romantic and some aren’t” and proceeds to help me explain that idea to some of the other students. Within moments, they have returned to their conversation, and I return to my own work.

There are so many things that I love about teaching, as any regular reader of this blog knows. But it all comes down to the kids. That combination of active curiosity, excitement about sharing what they know and creating new ideas, testing out the different aspects and implications of each new idea they think up, and behind it all the search to understand themselves and the world in which they are taking their place, that is at the core of everything I love about teaching.

Written by Bill Ivey

A dedicated member of the faculty, Bill Ivey is the Middle School Dean at Stoneleigh-Burnham School. He teaches Humanities 7 and the Middle and Upper School Rock Bands. Bill is the advisor for MOCA, the middle school student government, and he coordinates and participates in the middle school service program. Among his many hats, Bill also coordinates social media for Stoneleigh-Burnham School.

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Filed Under: Middle School, On Education, social justice, #loveteaching