Wednesday, November 7:

Today, I’m grateful for a great practicum experience. I gave a presentation on my 7th and 8th grade classroom tonight, and I was talking about my students I realized that I was so proud of them. I could hardly stop myself from telling just one more story, describing just one more student, detailing one more way they’ve made me a better teacher.

The students at my middle school site have truly changed the way I teach! Being around such a diverse group of kids has been such a great experience. I never could have anticipated how their personalities, their needs, their skill levels, their interests, their ah-ha! moments, their struggles, their defiance, or their triumphs influence me both as a teacher and as a person.

I’ve learned that 7th & 8th graders still need your approval–desperately–and a little positive feedback goes a LONG way.

I’ve learned that they still need explicit instruction in everything–from how to write a personal narrative to how to walk down the hallway–even when they say that they don’t.

I’ve learned that it takes them 10x longer to do the lesson than I originally thought–and that that’s ok.

I’ve learned that a little humor and the occasional Harry Potter reference makes me look more human to them.

I’ve learned that they crave consistency–even when that consistency comes in the form of high expectations and discipline.

And most of all, I’ve learned that I love middle schoolers more than I ever thought I could, and I selfishly wish that I could stay with this age group forever! Can’t I just student teach in middle school and then get a job there, too?? Anybody hiring for grades 7-8 in December 2013?!