Whenever I tell people I teach middle school, the first reaction is usually something like "How can you stand it?" or "Wow, that must be tough!" with the occasional "Oh, God bless you!" thrown in.
I used to feel the same way until I met my first group of seventh and eighth graders.
They are the best! Yes, sometimes the hormones go into overdrive, but my students are hysterically funny, have a great desire to learn and are old enough to understand and discuss interesting topics.
In my classroom, I strive to create a space where kids can see themselves in the texts we read, build a love of books, and challenge themselves to become the best they can be! While my students don't all share the same culture, most share the same economic status.
All of our students receive free breakfast and lunch. Despite all of the challenges that they face, my students come to school willing and eager to learn. They have great plans, hopes, and dreams for the future. They are funny and bright, and I consider myself lucky to be their teacher.
Back to school can be a stressful time for kids for many reasons. Worrying about whose class you will be in, what friends you will or won’t see, and more can cause anxiety.
For many, getting supplies is another source of stress.
In addition to uniforms, shoes, and backpacks, new school supplies can put a real financial strain on families, especially if there is more than one child. As school budgets all over get tighter, parents are asked to bring more and more to help outfit the classroom. Lengthy lists of binders, markers, pencils, sharpeners, Lysol wipes, tissues, and Expo markers can present a daunting challenge for families.
I NEVER want my students to feel like they cannot be successful in my classroom, so I always make sure that every student is provided with the supplies that they need in class. Notebooks, pencils, markers, erasers, pens, and folders---if I need them to have it, I give it to them. Much of my summer is spent scouring the weekly adds for the best sale prices, but some of the more consumable items and the things we use every day in ELA class end up being used up or rationed by mid-year.
We use sticky notes to record our thinking daily, to jot down ideas in our books, to add in ideas in our writing, and to respond to gallery walk and carousel activities. Pencils are must-haves to get our ideas down, use in our writing projects and take notes, and erasers allow us to refine our work. With your support, I will be able to share these items with my students and alleviate some of the back-to-school stress. Thank you so much for your help!
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