Teaching middle schoolers is always a challenge. Their emotions run high, hormones explode, and day-to-day problems escalate at a rapid pace. Add a pandemic with regular routines constantly changing and top it with mask wearing, and teaching middle schoolers enters a new level.
Last week we had a welcomed change. Our district and our state lifted COVID restrictions. A feeling of relief and excitement was felt, but I was most excited about seeing their smiles.
Smiles are broadcasters. When I can see students' faces, I know who is having a good day. I know who just got braces. I know who enjoys walking down the hall with new friends. I know who enjoyed my class or the other classes in the wing. I know who told a funny joke. I know who has a new crush. I even know who farted. (Remember, it's middle school!)
Students have been hidden behind masks, leaving teachers to decipher what they are thinking and feeling and what is going on with their I-don't-know-how-to-handle-this middle school life.
Yes, it was nice just to see them smile.
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