Hello from the Zoo...

In my career, I am constantly trying to find better ways to connect with the kids, better ways to motivate them to care about their world, encourage them about their academics and their importance for the next steps...high school and beyond. Most of the time my "talks" fall on deaf ears. It can be frustrating. I recognize that these middle school years are crucial to building habits, while many of them believe that these years "don't count."

I liken it to leaving the Zoo. Imagine that one day, the gates of the habitats are opened and the animals within the Zoo are released into the wild. (and I don't mean the city!) Their entire life, they have had humans care for them. Food has been brought forth, water provided, when it gets too hot (or cold), they are allowed inside where they are protected from the elements. Although, to a small degree, the animals are allowed to work within their environment, the reality is, they are not prepared to be released into the wild. If left on their own, they would die. True, at the beginning they would give their best effort, run with the herd, "hunt," but they are not part of the herd and would be at the bottom of the eating (or whatever event) food chain. They would not survive or, at least, the chance of survival would be rare. The interactions needed for survival would not be there.

Today, I am very grateful for one of my co-workers, Marcy. She had shared about a self-assessment form she has her students each day. She has raved about the environment that has been formed, the sense of community, and the connection. After two days of this form, I have to agree...I am excited to see where we go, but I am impressed at the students honesty.

Days like today make teaching fun...I am grateful that I have this job and grateful to have the opportunities I have with my students on a daily basis


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