What do kids in junior high even begin to gripe about? Their lives? Schoolwork? Their parents? It’s easy to write adolescents off because of what they say, wear, and do but after getting the opportunity to observe and teach in a seventh grade classroom, I can definitely say that there is more than meets the eye.
Today was my last day of my middle school clinicals and when my co-op told the kids that I wouldn’t be a part of the class anymore, they all whipped around to look at me and said things like “No!” and “What?!” So as a memento for my time and practical advice, she asked the kids to write me a thank you letter that included tips for teaching seventh graders.
I looked over the letters and most of them told me that I was a great teacher and that I was going to do well in the future. They were all really sweet and one girl even wrote “I will miss you” on the top half of her letter and then mentioned that she still remembers the time we sat out in the hallway to read together and that made me want to tear up.
When I taught my lessons and sat in and observed, the kids didn’t really seem to pay me much attention and so I took that at face value, but these letters let me see that underneath the classroom demeanor they really are just a bunch of sweeties. I sure am going to miss them.