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Monday, December 3, 2012

5th Graders: Highlight of my Week

At Governor's School last week, I did lots of things. Somehow, though, the highlight was a crazy group of 5th graders who visited campus. I wasn't exactly dreading helping with the event, but it wasn't on the list of things I was looking forward to, either. When they arrived, we got them off the bus, let them use the bathroom, and corralled them in a lobby to regroup.They were given a choice between music, visual art, and dance, and the music kids were told to stand next to me. I was ambushed and noticed right away that personal space was not a priority. Somehow I didn't mind, though; I kind of felt like Mother Goose (was it her?) with the huge skirt hiding lots of happy children. Plus, they didn't have that weird smell yet that 5th graders get after recess.

Right away these kids had questions and energy. So many questions and so much energy. They were incredibly bright. I've spoken to many groups of 8th graders about Governor's School opportunities, in big groups and small groups and one-on-one. The 5th graders' questions were way better. They were more enthusiastic and willing to think outside of whatever box gets put around us in middle school.

We all know that middle school is rough. What happens, though, to make us start judging one another constantly? Then we are afraid to be so bold with our questions, it's harder to think outside the acceptable box, and we make sure, in any situation, that our enthusiasm is dulled just enough to avoid criticism. Those habits seem to stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Maybe 5th graders have the answer: fewer filters and more happiness.

Happy Monday,


The monkey is by Sharon Montrose from 200x200. He seems like a 5th grader.

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