Living in Their World

March 01, 2012 by Bill Ivey

Every so often, we middle school teachers will note something happening around us and quietly comment to each other how it’s crazy and sad that more people don’t get how wonderful this age group is. Today was the kind of day where I could have said that so often that even the most understanding of my colleagues would have ended up screaming, “I know, I know!” The seventh grade homeroom was bursting with off-the-cuff, humorous remarks and announcements. The Humanities class gave a collective gasp during morning reading. One of the play-writing groups exulted in reaching the stage where they could print out scripts to read to the class for input. Another group had clearly moved past yesterday’s setback and was working steadily to revise their own script. My advisees begged convincingly for Dunkin’ Munchkins (a surprise) and homemade ice cream (not a surprise) for our last advisory of the term. The Wednesday guitar class focused in on “Sweet Home Alabama” and showed how far they had come from the fall when they were still asking me several times a class how to finger chords, and they played so much and so hard that I had to end class a few minutes early to give their fingers a rest. Life Skills students who were ready for their presentations enjoyed a study hall while the others worked on their own and I consulted with the kids to set up a schedule for the presentations to happen. One of the 8th graders came back upstairs after lunch and asked special permission to use her laptop and do some work, which I allowed for as long as I was going to be up there myself. A French student proudly told me how hard she was worked last night making index cards to study for the final. And all this is just a sample of moments

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, NYC, On Education, Boarding and Day, All Girls Education, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, racism, Education