"Dear Middle Schooler," Article
A Message From Your Teachers - by middle school teacher Amy Keyes | July 28, 2023
Dear Middle Schooler,
You should know some things as you step out of summer and into a new school year. Whether you are starting a new chapter of your education, stuck in the middle, or entering these doors for the last of these years, you should know it is the same: We are so excited to see you. To welcome you, for the first time, into a new space that will hopefully grow into a feeling of home for you. To welcome you back, with all the memories of who you were in years past, and to re-meet you as who you are now.
WE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU HERE
We will care for you as if you are our own. Growing and flying into these years shape you from who you are, into who you are becoming and helping you navigate the tides of middle school waters — choppy and unexpected. Celebrating with you the rising crests of joy you will experience. We guide you as you battle the undercurrents of difficulty you are bound to face.
We will hold up the umbrella for you as you weather the storms. Of friendship. Of drama. Of academic challenge. Of constant change. We will also fold up that umbrella and let you jump in the puddles of figuring out who you are and what you’re made of. Feel the freedom of discovering how much grit and resilience you really do have when you let yourself explore, when you get a little messy, when you push outside your comfort zone.
WE WILL BE HERE FOR YOU AS STUDENTS AND AS PEOPLE
We will be there for you as students and, most importantly, as people. For your eye rolls. Your smiles. Your wins. Your losses. Your mistakes. Your accomplishments. Your pain. Your joy.
We will ensure you come to school by creating a safe community for you to participate in. Connecting you with students and adults you can trust and open up to by sharing our own experiences — the good and the not-so-good — and why it matters to show up despite the bumps in the road. To make sure you see yourself as we see you — valued and loved.
We will get to know you and see you for the individual who you are. The things you love and the things you loathe. The gifts you bring to the table and the aspirations you wish to grow into. The struggles you have faced, and the character you have built along the way.
We will show up for you. Advocate for what you need, even when you’re not sure what that is. Listen to you. Cheer you on at your sports, band concerts, and performances. Come right up to you and say hi when we see you at Target, even if you pretend you don’t see us.
We will be honest with you about how amazing you are. About the skills, you can improve on. About how much you make our lives better, even when you feel like we are making yours worse.
WE WILL PARTNER WITH YOUR GROWN-UPS
We will partner with your grown-ups. To make sure they hear about all of the creativity, kindness, hard work, and determination you show in class. And we will work with them on getting to the root of why you sometimes have hard days -- not to get you in trouble, but so we can do better for you.
We will always have fresh starts. No matter how many mistakes we each make. No matter how angry you get at us. No matter how many stink-eye side looks we get. We will hold you accountable. To be your best self and give your best to others. To spread love and kindness to everyone and everything. On purpose. We will believe in you, especially when you don’t believe in yourself. We will give you our whole heart. Every day. For this year and for always.
Middle Schooler — we know summer is winding down, and all the back-to-school feels are bubbling up.
Just remember, we’ve got you.