One of the ways I have chosen to be involved in our community is through training students and adults in the 40 Asset model of positive youth development (see http://www.Search-institute.org). I recently spent three class periods (Dec 3,4,5) with the 8th grade leadership class at Winston Middle School. Funny how some things are the same and some things are different. It has been several years (oops, I mean decades) since I was in Middle School (actually it was Junior High School). But the more things change the more they stay the same. Cliques still exist- around sports, around popularity, around skill sets and the like. Some kids are still left out and loners, others are still vying to be the class clown.
In watching this particular group of students I noticed several things: First, kids still talk about the same stuff we talked about years ago- friends, family, sports, games (no,we didn’t talk about video games but rather games we played at home-outside). Second, kids are still looking for affirmation. They want to be acknowledged, they want to be heard, they want to know that adults outside their parents and family care about them. Third, many of them do think deeply about how they can influence those around them- siblings, friends, even other students.
I am thankful for a district and building administration that allows me access to students. I am thankful for a teacher who is willing to allow me to take a class period for three days.
Though much is changing in education- funding, support, curriculum, and the like- kids are still kids! They still need us to be involved and engaged in their lives.