Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"7th grade is a magical place full of possibilities."

One of my 7th grade boys walked into my room today with a whole binder full of Pokemon cards. He's going to bring them back and make them cool again. On Monday he brought just three cards to show me but now he has pages and pages of the characters that are ready to battle.

On game days the wrestlers and basketball players dress up in button down shirts and ties. If they have to change for their Wellness class then it's a struggle to get their tie perfectly tied again. One of my boys came to class after the bell rang because he was struggling with the knot and he had his shirt buttoned wrong. He got a basketball teammate to help him figure it out. When they couldn't do it together, we opened my cabinet door that had a mirror inside. He wasn't tall enough to see in the mirror so we pulled over a chair for him to stand on.  Once he got the tie fixed he needed to tuck his shirt back in so he asked if he could stand in the cabinet with the door closed. He happily climbed in and shut the door behind himself. His classmates tied to convince me to lock him in, but we let him out when he finished fixing his shirt. Never a dull moment in Junior High.

Today all of the fiesta girls got to come and play after school. Alex, Rachel, Katy and Hope are individually fantastic and that greatness just multiplies when they're all together. Our hang out was a fast one today, but it was filled with things we're excited about, good talks and always laughter. This simple routine of hanging out together on Wednesdays is one of the most consistent parts of my year.

One of things I want to continually make a priority is showing up at my student's extracurricular events. I remember one of my favorite professors at Hope telling our class how important it would be to make this a priority because it has such a profound impact on our relationship with students. Showing up speaks volumes.

Our 7th and 8th grade boys' basketball teams played Riverside tonight and I went to both of the games. I love sitting in the stands with Julia and Genna, their younger brothers are both on the 7th grade team. It's sweet to see my students out on the court playing their hearts out. Parents and younger siblings fill the stands and for a couple hours we get to just cheer on the team. I'd rather watch my Junior High kids play a game than watch any professional sports team.

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