Middle School is perhaps the most stressful time of a person’s life (at least until high school, ha!)…they are growing, changing, and trying to figure out who they are as people all while they are under constant pressure from their peers to “fit in”. How can they fit in when not one of them even knows who they are themselves?!? It blows my mind to think back to my middle school years and think that I even made it out alive, let alone somewhat normal 🙂 Which brings me to us, the teachers, the leaders at school, where do we fit into this messy and chaotic existence? I would suggest that it’s part of our responsibility to be role models and positive examples for these kids. They watch our every move, they mimic our language, they critique us, and they take countless unspoken lessons away from each and every interaction. Whether you know it or not our kids are paying attention, even if it seems like they’re not, they are! I’ll never forget the day (during my first year as a teacher) that I set my kids to the task of creating an acting scene to show their knowledge of vocabulary words…One brave group included a character called Mr. Olson…and boy was I surprised by the way they viewed me, some flattering, some indifferent, and plenty of humbling impersonations!! My point is that the kids have eyes and they’re always watching…what are we showing them, both intentionally and unintentionally? Are we reading during SSR and modeling? Do we have typos or grammatical errors on handouts or assignments? Do we speak with respect to students and/or other teachers? Overall, it goes without saying, we are amazing people and we are extremely good role models for our children but I also think that sometimes we let our guard down and we let the cracks show…and our kids don’t miss a beat!! What do you think I’d love to hear your thoughts? Enjoy my two cents and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.