Though we started two weeks late due to unprecedented events, things are starting to shape up. My first impressions of my students are glowing — now I know why my colleagues love to teach 8th grade students. They can be engaging, motivated, funny, and charming young people. I have already had two football players ask me for assignments prior to leaving for a game. I have had a student think of connected and interesting questions. Admittedly, I also have the pencil-sharpener-attempters-the bathroom-breakers, and the ukulele carrying minstrels. (Really. But she never plays it in class.)
These first weeks are all about putting in the tools they will need. For example, yesterday they took Cornell Notes on “How to Do a One-Pager.” Today, guess what? They are doing one-pagers. And, a few of them have asked me for directions again. I point them back to their notes.