Growing Students

I really liked the section I read in Zevin’s book. It spoke to me stronger than other writings I’ve come across for a couple of reasons. It lays out the fact that the middle grades time period for people is a difficult one. Hormones, expectations, and lifestyles change drastically, leaving many students uneasy in a dynamic environment. Personally, middle school was rough on me. Changes mentioned above were occurring and I had no male figure I found supportive at the time in my life to guide me. This led to my life being unhappy half the time in middle school. A big reason I took education as my major is to be that male role model students can look to for support.

Another reason this article stood out is because I feel my biggest strength I carry now regarding education is being personable. When deciding my major, I took all of my jobs and boiled them down to common denominators. What I found left was making people smile and teaching (soccer ref and camp councilor). I think Zevin did a good job with the teacher/actor comparison, as well as the strong, interlocking, influential relationship between the teacher and students he described. The teachers I remember were engaging, not dry. If there’s no interest in the classroom, then energy and motivation, among others, would be zero. As for his relationship, I also strongly agree, with evidence and advice. My dad, a substitute, told me last weekend that if there is no trust (strong, interlocking, influential), then the kids would not respect you. His Bulgarian accent makes him stand out to the kids, resulting in a better preforming classroom.

The last reason why I like this piece is because of my current status of an intern observing. Before my field experience started, I would have preferred high school instead of middle, solely based on my own experiences. Now that I’m around them, it doesn’t bother me. Maybe it’s because I’m past that God-forsaken stage of life. As I read different techniques for different students, I’ve noticed that I do some already. There is a kid who immigrated over from Nicaragua. He likes the fact that I know some Spanish, as well as I play and ref soccer. Now, I get asked for help with spelling, not the teacher. There are more techniques now that I can use and see solid results.