The thing that many people don’t know about teachers is that we have the opportunity to watch closely how young people grow and change. It is why some of us like to teach certain grade levels.
For example, last year I taught 2 classes of 8th graders and one class of 7th. I preferred 7th by far. But many of my colleagues who teach 8th wouldn’t give a plug nickel for a 7th grader. I am committed now to 7th grade and really do love it.
When they begin the year, they seems so little. After winter break, it seems they have grown and matured a lifetime. I’ve noticed many of the boys are taking a lot more risks and seem more sure of themselves. Some boys that were kind of quiet and docile have gotten a bit, well, crazier. Talking in class. Not doing their work. These are the kids I always counted on!
The girls, on the other hand, have gotten a bit nastier with each other. That can be tough to take, especially the ones that were so sweet.
Today it was boys walking backwards. Yes, for some reason every time I was in the hallway walking the kids to the computer lab or to lunch, there was a boy walking backwards. It is suddenly “a thing.” I watch their faces and it seems they are challenging themselves in some way.
Take note: I have not seen one girl walking backwards.
I tried to figure out if there was some adult version of walking backwards. Probably in bars with shots, right? I don’t know. All I know is that it is another part of human nature to love. I’ll be watching for the next phase and will report in when I identify it!