September 20, 2010

How School Should Be...

When we think back about our days in middle school, we often can come up with a short list of memories. I'm sure for you that might involve some friends, teachers, and classrooms but not much else.

Last week, I went with 70+ eighth grade students to a small town called Hirschegg, Austria. We stayed at different mountain huts, hiked, repelled off rocky cliffs, and practiced some full-on rock climbing.

To many of you reading this, you might think that doing any of those things with a group of 13- to 14-year-olds doesn't exactly sound like fun. Especially the part where they do your safety check and belay you up and down a 30-foot rock face.

Well, I can let you in on a little secret: for as quirky as we all can be in middle school, the chance to work with young minds has always been rewarding. While being on the job for 24 hours a day for 5 straight days really thins out my "hourly" pay, but the chance to build solid relationships with my students will be what pays off in the coming months. And don't worry - I dropped in mini-science lessons at every turn unless the students brought it up first.

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