Every now and then, I’m reminded that, despite the little misbehaviors that our students exhibit, at the heart of it, they are good kids. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the day to day frustrations. The student who blurts out, the one who doesn’t turn in work, the gum chewer, the hallway runner. These are the things we spend time venting about in the teacher’s lounge.
However, when it comes right down to it, they are good kids. As my dad used to say: if that’s the worst you have to deal with, count yourself lucky!
Last week, my after school program group was practicing Christmas carols so they could go caroling at the care home next door. These are at-risk students who voluntarily stay after school for 2 1/2 hours. They are offered 3 enrichment time choices. Almost half of the students chose to go Christmas caroling. As I watched them sing together (off key, of course!), I realized they knew the words to all of the tunes – Frosty, Rudolph, yes, but also Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Joy to the World.
The way they worked together, discussed which songs they might like to perform and helped each other work the karaoke machine was wonderful. This was a demonstration of their innate goodness and willingness to cooperate.
It’s so easy to forget this when you are mired in the day to day craziness that is middle school. I’m glad that, every now and then, my children remind me why I went into teaching.