Monday, April 20, 2009

Hello 8th Grade Me

Sometimes when I'm teaching the junior high kids I try to channel my junior high self to help me to understand them. Though it's not always pleasant to think back to the days when my idea of being fashion forward was matching my neon green FUBU jersey to my neon green adidas slide sandals (with socks, of course; this outfit was not restricted by the weather), it does help me to have the patience and mind set needed.

Today, I didn't need to conjure up a mental image of myself; there before my eyes was a school picture of me circa 1999. I was reading an excerpt to the class from The Diary of Anne Frank (we read the drama version; I'm not one of those "we'll just watch the movie version and read parts" teachers...yet). I was flipping through and saw of flash of bib overalls and colorful hemp necklace - sure signs of a blast from the past. When I paged through again, the picture fell out. I'm surprised it made the journey from my personal library growing up to my college book shelf to eventually end in my classroom library.

It was odd to look at the eighth graders listening intently to Mrs. Ressler while I looked at myself in their shoes.

I laughed to myself that I was my bookmark in eighth grade.

And in that thought was my patience and mindset to last through the final days of school and then some: If all my eighth graders are their "own bookmarks," as they should be, it doesn't matter who's in front of the classroom; as long as I keep them the stars, then we'll accomplish something.

How freeing for a teacher who practically launched off her teacher stool to grab the evidence of her junior high days from the floor.


  1. Lauren, I am so proud of you. You've discovered the secret of being a good teacher - it isn't about you, it's about them. What a great statement, "They are the stars."

  2. Very profound grasshopper! Although I think you should have posted the picture. :)