by Ms. Thaler
As one of my students writes, middle school is a lot like a roller coaster. While he was referring to the student experience, I can vouch for the fact that teaching in middle school has its ups, downs, and loop-de-loops as well. For me, this year has included many joys. I’ve seen students’ faces light up as they mastered a new vocabulary word or saw their own improvement as readers and writers. I’ve guided students who previously hadn’t had any classes together in collaborating successfully on projects. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten to know my bright and talented students during spirited class discussions, after-school conversations, and even a small group foray to see the premiere of Twilight. I celebrated my birthday at school, and was completely amazed by the outpouring of birthday wishes, cards, and even treats I received from my students.
My year has also included its share of sorrows. I’ve had to bid farewell to students I cared deeply about, who were leaving to attend other schools. I’ve seen my students endure many hardships, both in and out of school. And along with parents, other teachers, and community members, I’ve struggled to understand and cope with the upcoming budget cuts that will deeply affect the Claremont community.
Those are just some of my memories of this, my first year teaching at Claremont. The essays that follow describe, in their own words, experiences that my students have had over their middle school years that have taught them something, changed them in some fundamental way, or made them who they are today. Their experiences and voices are as diverse and unique as they are, and I feel honored to have been able to glimpse these snapshots of each of their roller coaster rides. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
7 years ago