Some days after my junior high students leave, I feel like a wrung-out wash cloth, but there are lessons to finalize and papers to grade, so I have to persevere. I have to put one foot in front of the other, and a few minutes later my strength starts to wash back in. Having 29 homeroom students at different stages of differentiating from parents/leaders in their lives is exhausting, but also intriguing.
The junior high developmental stage of differentiating is fascinating; I am drawn to it partly because there are so many transitions going on AND because I didn’t go through those stages at the normal age. (I had to learn it later!) Students NEED to distinguish who they are from their parents/teachers as they figure out who they are; students do this through challenging their authority figures often. Being reminded of this by my counselor this weekend was so helpful because my job is to still support/encourage/teach these students, but not let them be disrespectful while encouraging them to figure out and share what they think and believe about topics.
I can only do this with support from family and from God; my strength is renewed from their love.
Teachers, keep on persevering because what you are doing IS making a difference (and Spring Break is around the corner!)