Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about the amazing new group of students we had. Flash forward-- for the first time in my career, there has been no personnel change at the sixth grade level since then, but this beautiful fall day found several of us veterans reminiscing about last September.
Don't get me wrong-- the kids this year are sweet and age-appropriate, they just aren't the kids from last year. Tuesday is the day when we meet with the counselor to discuss student concerns, and she left with a list of at least 20 kids who aren't doing their homework, aren't coming prepared, don't follow directions, can't open their lockers, can't make it on time, can't make it all. Oh, they love middle school, all right-- they say so all the time-- but middle school is sort of a challenge for them right now. Sigh.
At the end of the meeting, one teacher who has been on the team for seven years, but has thirty-plus years of teaching experience made an announcement. "Well," she said, "this makes me feel much better." We looked at her, momentarily perplexed. She shrugged. "I thought it was me," she laughed. "I was sure I had lost my sixth grade mojo."