#SOLSC17 and #Celebratelu: Joy

The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of  a writing community.

Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes  …. because we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get.

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The thing about sixth graders is…they leave the best Friday messages.

The thing about sixth graders is that there is no one thing that you can point to and say: that’s it! This is what sixth graders are all about.

The thing about sixth graders is that they are ever morphing, ever zooming from one extreme to another, ever veering off into some new zone of being just when you begin to think that they are settling down.

The thing about sixth graders is that life with them, school day in and school day out, is like looking through a kaleidoscope: you are enthralled by the ever changing view, exhausted by it, but energized by it, too.

The thing about sixth graders is that you just can’t help but love them; even on their worst day (which is consequently also your worst day) they find a way to leave you believing that tomorrow will be a better day, perhaps even the best day.

The thing about sixth graders is they reach into your heart and worm their way into available space, so that you may have to drag your weary body out the classroom door day after day, but you feel strangely good about that weariness, it is a it’s-totally-worth-it kind of weariness.

The thing about sixth graders is that they take you on their journeys of thought every day: a roller coaster, sometimes slightly sick to the stomach kind of journey – you never quite know where that next steep swoop or crazy swerve might be, but you find yourself looking forward to and actually enjoying them any way.

The thing about sixth graders is that they don’t stay sixth graders very long – just from September to Spring Break, really.  Because after Spring Break, they are seventh graders…and entirely different species of middle schoolers, not different in a bad way, but but sixth graders, either.

The thing about sixth graders is that they need to be celebrated.  Yes, they make me want to tear all my hair out upon occasion; yes, they leave me speechless with consternation upon others.  BUT, they mostly make me want to laugh, to think, to enjoy the moment, to cast away cynicism, to be absolutely honest.

The thing about sixth graders is…I was somehow just meant to teach them.

 

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20 thoughts on “#SOLSC17 and #Celebratelu: Joy

  1. The thing about the Mama of a 6th grader is, I’m so thankful that there are people in the world who see who they are as people. I’m absolutely terrified of mine. And yet, I haven’t loved him more than I do now. You nailed the life of a 6th grader. Thank you. Virtual hugs to all 6th grade teachers out there!

  2. Oh, my! You certainly were.

    You’re right, they are an amazing heartbeat between young and old, innocent and world-weary, bubbling-over and able-to-hold-still…they are somehow “on the verge of”

  3. Love this post for so many reasons. Most of all we share sixth graders after my spring break which is coming soon. I will read your post again to help me remember.

  4. What a great piece – love the organizational scaffold – and I love everything you tell us about sixth graders. You have captured them beautifully in words, and they have obviously captured your heart!

  5. This is brilliant Tara. I always come away from your writing inspired and motivated to reflect on your ideas and your structure to support my own writing. You are one of my greatest mentors, my friend!!

  6. Love the repeat, each part a “truth” from you, Tara. Since I taught sixth, seventh and eighth graders, one might think they are alike, but they are not, and you’ve described my “youngest” ones perfectly, that “roller coaster ride”. Have a lovely weekend!

  7. They come in to middle school with those big doe-like eyes, nervous about their new school and they morph into these wonderful, crazy beings you have captured so accurately in today’s slice.

  8. I like the format of this prose-poem. The thing about… It works well. I began this school year teaching sixth grade for a client for three weeks. So eye opening. Such fun.

  9. I love this pattern of organization and may have to use it as a mentor text sometime this month!

    Having taught sixth a few years, you are so right! My own baby will be a sixth grader next year, but really, he’s morphing into one right now. This reminds me to prepare for the ride we are about to take together.

  10. I love the way you see sixth graders! They are ever changing and challenging, but you know who they are. That makes all the difference in the world.

  11. As a former sixth grade teacher (who also taught 3rd, 7th, 8th, and 9th), I love your capture of my favorite grade. Here’s my favorite part: “The thing about sixth graders is that life with them, school day in and school day out, is like looking through a kaleidoscope: you are enthralled by the ever changing view, exhausted by it, but energized by it, too.” And I’m so glad that there are people like you who love sixth graders. And you’re so right about what happens after spring break!

  12. Tara, what a great post on the joys of being a 6th grade teacher who wonders, enjoys, and holds her students in high esteem. This line struck me as the start of a beautiful poem on your 6th graders who are “like looking through a kaleidoscope”.

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