Lessons from the Middle School

Bball picMiddle school kids are pretty awesome. I’ve thought that since my WyldLife days and continue to be amazed by them every day I teach and coach them. Recently I’ve seen some articles and blogs going around that echo that sentiment – these weird creatures caught between childhood and adolescence actually have a lot of insight to offer.

Let me share the story of one of my new 7th graders. This boy was one of the “office boys” last year. You know the kind- the one who has a permanent seat in the principal’s office and splits time equally between wreaking havoc on his teachers and waiting to have havoc wreaked on him by the principal.

Enter the 7th grade version of this boy. His goal on the first day of Life Skills was to be a different kid and to have 7th grade be a better year. So far, so good – he’s been recognized by every teacher as a strong positive leader and contributor in his class. He’s a positive leader in his homeroom advisory group. He’s having fun with his friends and not causing problems.

When I asked him about it yesterday he said, “Mrs. Aguilar, I’m a different kid this year and I love it.”

And I’m so proud of him.

Why is it so hard for adults to realize that things are not going well and that we need to start fresh? Why is it so hard for adults to say “sorry, I’m going to change?” When does the pride that inhibits growth and change embed itself into people (and organizations?).

I’m starting this school year motivated by and thankful for the simple turn around of a 7th grader.

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