Although many people look back on their own memories with mixed feelings, there is just something truly special and unique about middle schoolers. I see about 140 students every day, each with different stories to share, home circumstances, pasts, fears, hopes, and dreams. And each a new opportunity for a brighter tomorrow.
My 6th graders have truly captured my heart with their smiles and jokes, their eagerness to help others and longing to belong, their bravery and kindness, and their curiosity and resilience to overcome remarkable challenges.
I have found that 6th grade is the age where they are starting to seek out independence and take on greater responsibilities, while still enjoying a good picture book in a cozy reading corner and laughing at their teacher's corny jokes (of which, I am in plentiful supply!). I love to see them try new things, face their fears, take ownership of mistakes and learn from them, and celebrate their achievements!
Though I don't think I'll ever be capable of explaining the middle school mind, I have discovered that my students thrive with strong relationships, a good mix of trust and boundaries, and plenty of room to move and have fun!
Entering into middle school as a 6th grader is a major transition for many kids. There seems to be a great divide between elementary and middle school cultures, when really, the difference is only one short summer for the students.
While giving my 6th graders the freedom, responsibility, and independence that middle school offers, I also believe they still need some of the supports, safeties, and comforts of the elementary environment.
For example, a central and cozy (yet, durable), floor space! The interlocking foam floor tiles will provide my students with exactly that.
In my seven years of teaching middle schoolers, I have learned that kids, even big kids, love to find a comfortable spot on the floor and listen to a good read-aloud. This is one of the ways we will frequently use these floor tiles, and one of the things that we look forward to the most! We also hold class meetings in our "homeroom" groups every morning, and a wide-open floor space would be perfect for hosting discussions that help foster our positive classroom community and social/emotional health. Who knew a simple floor covering could do so much! Your support and care are so greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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