During Reading Week our school had Stuffed Animal Day. (We didn't follow the official theme of reading week, in case you're wondering how that fits in.) When I saw the signs around the school, I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Seriously! This is middle school! My 8th graders are going to be in high school very soon!
I'm not going to say that I don't dabble in cuteness from time to time. After all, my students did bring in Warm Fuzzies at the beginning of the year. So, in every nook and cranny we have pictures and physical representations of Warm Fuzzies, and in the beginning of the year we used them as reminders on how to treat each other in the classroom. Okay. I know. Pretty icky sweet. But Stuffed Animal Day? Sheesh!
A few students brought stuffed animals, and so did the Student Teacher. She brought in this big, floppy, soft dog...and she hasn't taken it home yet. It's not exactly an oversight, either. Someone is constantly holding onto that dog! I guess there's a big need for hugs in my classroom these days. I'm wondering if I should invest in some cuddly stuffed animals for my room next year.
My students and I are always in this dance where I think they should grow up, but they aren't ready. Then I think they should chill out and just be kids, but they are pushing past me to grow up too fast. My suspicions are that these struggles we have about whether they are kids are not are probably internal struggles they have within themselves on a pretty regular basis.