I love the work I do. I love the people who teach in Middle Schools, the curricular opportunities in a Middle School program, and most of all, Middle School kids. I love to see their growth as students and as people, and I find them truly interesting and fun. I say all this by way of preface.
I tell you that I love the work I do, because I also want to tell you that Middle School kids can be frustrating, baffling, misguided, impulsive, insecure, aggravating, exhausting, and a whole bunch of other things. The years between age ten and age fourteen are not easy ones – for these girls, their parents, or those of us who work to support their growth. And all of this I tell you because, mostly, I want to say this: yes, your daughter.
It’s widely understood that Middle School girls have ups and downs, and that they take steps forward and backward. It’s widely understood that they can be angry, then laughing, and then crying, all in the space of a few minutes. It’s widely understood that Middle School girls have friend drama, waxing and waning academic motivation, social distractions, inexplicable dives in self-confidence, and self-consciousness that can reach epic proportions. And, it’s all widely forgotten when it’s your own daughter.
Knowing all of the above about “Middle School girls” in general can be magically erased when your own, very specific Middle School daughter goes through rough patches. You find yourself thinking, “Why are all the other girls in her class so mean? And immature? And insensitive?” You find yourself wondering, “Why hasn’t my daughter discovered her passion, thus causing her to jump out of bed every morning?” You ponder, “She’s not the same this week or month as she’s been before – maybe we should look at other schools.” And you worry, “Is she being challenged enough? Is she being challenged too much? Will she be successful?”
So, I do love my job, and you love your daughter. And part of my job is to remind you not to throw in the towel, not to panic, not to predict high school or college or life success based on Middle School…really…we’ve seen this before, and she’ll be great!