So, just recently I was challenged by our middle school principal, Ty Crain.
The challenge was simple… come be a student at the middle school for an entire day.
This would mean starting the day at school at breakfast and following a schedule throughout the entire day just like any student would.
The goal of this challenge is to experience what a student experiences and see the day-to-day operations of the middle school from an unbiased and difference set of eyes.
I accepted this challenge and have a new appreciation for what our students get to (have to) experience each and every day they are at school.
Here are 10 things our students experience every day that I believe many of us educators tend to forget about…
1). Limited amounts of time and constantly in a rush to go from one place to the next and having to eat at a pace that isn’t normal or ideal for most.
2). Trying to keep straight a different set of classroom expectations, procedures, and beliefs about learning for several different teachers.
3). Dressing out for gym class can be quite an intimidating and frightful experience for many.
4). Having to go the restroom and either being rushed or having to ask for permission to go to the restroom during a time in class when it’s convenient for the teacher.
5). The amount of food our students get at breakfast and lunch may not be enough to completely quench their hunger due to recent changes in food and nutrition regulations.
6). Lots of sitting only to be followed up by more sitting. A majority of a student’s day is comprised of sitting in an uncomfortable chair.
7). Students are asked to travel all throughout the building over the course of the day, and it seems like each classroom and each space in the building has a different temperature. One room may be too warm while the next room is too cold.
8). Lots of being talked ‘at’ rather than being talked ‘with.’
9). Other kids in class who purposefully derail and consume large amounts of attention and time from the teacher which leaves other kids feeling like they aren’t important or don’t deserve any of the teacher’s time.
10). Lastly, and probably most frustrating, the tiny little desks and work spaces students are provided that make it difficult for everything to fit. Pencils and pens falling off desks, and books, devices, paper, and writing utensils all fitting on the desk at the same time are real problems.
So, in closing, let’s not forget about what our students experience every single day they are at school.