I've been doing a lot of work with teachers this summer, and it's been awesome. I love sharing with teachers about how technology can amplify student voices, and I love watching their lightbulbs go on as they think about how technology can be used in their own classrooms. I love that many of my trainings have allowed me to work with teachers over multiple days so that I can hear the stories of success in their classrooms. I'm excited that I'll be spending Fridays this year working with different schools in order to help them integrate technology into the the classroom.
But oh my goodness, I can't wait for students to be in my classroom.
This year, my school has seven full days of orientation. Seven days of meetings. Seven days of anticipation. Seven days of cutting things out of paper and preparing. Seven days alone in my classroom without the people who make it what it is: my students. Seven days of listening to stressed out teachers. And honestly, it's torture.
My students give my classroom life. They're full of energy and drama and joy. They've been known to stop my teaching because I'm too busy laughing. They help keep me cool. They laugh. A lot. They fill my room with colorful backpacks and their neon clothing and pencils they leave on the floor. There's a comforting noise to it all.
My students give my planning purpose. I have my beginning of the year activities for building community prepped, but I need people to do them with. I can't wait to hear how they want to create shalom in our world and what their superpowers are. I can't wait to study literature and apply math concepts with them and see how they take what I give them and do way more than I could've imagined.
My students inspire me. I think middle schoolers are the most underestimated people in the world, and I've made it my personal mission to amplify their voices as much as possible so that people can't ignore them. My students inspire me to make the world a better place. To stop human trafficking and homelessness. To smile more. To think deeply and ask why a little more.
So just give me some students. That's all I want. They're the reason I do what I do.