Friday, January 28, 2011


There is a school dance tonight.  Dance days are notoriously crazy.  Here, they only come about three times a year, so the kids get really excited.

When I was student-teaching eighth graders six years ago (yikes, has it really been that long?), I used to remind myself that when I was in eighth grade all I wanted to do was socialize.  And I was a compliant, good student.  So when the kids crane their necks to (from their perspectives) inconspicuously mouth words about their plans for this evening, I try to take it in stride.

We read on Fridays for most of the period as I take independent reading very seriously.  I read too.  This morning in my writing elective when I remembered it was a dance day, I worried a little about how productive the students would be.

As the day developed, I realized I had no cause for concern.  This post is nothing but a sort of wonder at how a whole mess of eighth graders can burst in from the activity of the hallway, take two minutes to find a quiet place on the carpet (I have at least four boys who love to lie under tables), and willingly enter the world of a book.  This is not a few kids in each class.  This is all but (maybe) five of my 105 students.

I am grateful that I get to watch them like this.  I don't think many adults ever get to experience teenagers this way.

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