Oh dear. I was trying so hard — and hating every moment of it.
One of the reasons I wanted to become a teacher was to soften the pain for others that was middle school and much of high school for me. In the 7th grade, I was sitting in my seat a couple of minutes before class began, alone in the room but for the teacher, and she complimented my sweater. It was a genuine, specific compliment that I carried with me for days. Middle school was lonely much of the time, and I didn’t quite get the preppy mixed with left-over glitzy fashion of the early 80’s. (see evidence above) So someone noticing my sweater made me feel more confident, if only slightly so. And that affects everything. Everything.
Seeing photos of myself in middle school humbles me. It makes me remember my misery back then. And owning my awkwardness helped grow an empathy for the weirdness and misspeak and blunders that come with puberty and finding one’s identity and voice and Self. Good teachers (and parents and adults in general) need that empathy if they are to survive being surrounded by it all day, every day.
Be patient with the teens and tweens in your life. Hold them accountable, but love them first.
Stop in at the moonshine grid over at yeah write. It’s good stuff – and no cotton mouth in the morning.