As I told my students, my goal is to post every Friday with a “newsletter” type update abou the happenings in our classroom. I also mentioned that if I felt inspired to post again throughout the week, I would certainly take a moment to do so. Inspiration struck today.
In my previous entries, I have mentioned how pleased I am with the students’ behavior and the open-mindedness they are showing in regards to the new discipline policy. As we continue to seek ways to make the middle school the best it can be, we have discussed the fact that many parents cannot make their way to the office in the mornings because of the congestion on the stairs. Plus, the line of where the “top of the stairs” technically ended and the “hallway” began was becoming blurred. One possible solution was to keep the gates closed until the bell rang, so we put that plan into action this morning. While preparing for the day, I heard several comments from students about how they were “behind bars” or “held captive.”
The principal assured them that it wasn’t a punishment, but rather a way to keep the crowd manageable and in the designated locations. I didn’t think much of the comments this morning, but on my way back to class following my lunch, I noticed the bushy or longer styles on a couple of our young men, and it reminded me of the pictures I’d seen in my parents’ yearbooks. I began thinking about how things truly do come in cycles. I thought about the changes that each generation experiences, and it was interesting to think about my place in that change. I think it was the first time I recognized that I was on a different side of the….well, gate, I suppose.
I’m not sure if this is more an observation about the students, or myself, but it struck me today how much these students seem to be aware of the changes, and that engagement is exciting! I think it’s good to see students thinking critically and voicing their opinions. Again, I’m very optimistic about this school year and look forward to future debates and discussions with these inspired youngsters!