Just three days ago, I started my 23rd year as a middle school history teacher. When people ask me what I do…my answer typically transforms their faces into a look of horror or sympathy. They then lament about how horrible middle school was for them and that they gave their teachers a run for their money…to which I reply that I love teaching middle schoolers and I can’t imagine doing anything different. And this year is no different.
As the hopeful, shiny, scared, and baby-faced students timidly walked through my doors this past Wednesday, I greeted them with a huge smile knowing that we are about to embark on a fantastic journey through the middle ages…or as I like to call it, “The Study of Super Dead People.”
Middle schoolers get my humor. And to a large extent I get theirs. And all I know is that these kids are awesome. The world hasn’t beaten them down yet…they still harbor elements of creativity and outlandish ideas…and they are still very much innocent. Even the horrors of current events don’t quite shatter their belief that if people could just get along that everything would be fine.
As I reflect on my first three days with my kiddoes, I’m feeling grateful for the opportunity to be their teacher. My goal this year is to encourage creativity and inquisition. And I’m looking forward to what they will teach me in the end.