Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Mommy's Musings

     We are celebrating in our home this afternoon.  Cupcakes, candles, a strange version of a classic party song..."Happy Kindergarten to You," and one very happy five year old boy have made this day one to remember.  We have just returned from Kindergarten Orientation Day, and our little guy can't wait for the real adventure to start!
     While watching him smile and listening to him excitedly recap the events of the afternoon, my heart can't help but be happy.  And it is this happiness, I realize, that all parents long to feel when their children come home from school.  It is happiness in the knowledge that your child has found school to be a place where he or she is safe, enjoying learning and successfully growing into one of the many young people who will be the cornerstones of our collective futures.  It is beautiful.
     As a middle school teacher for the last fourteen years, I have most loved the first weeks of September. Those first days of learning about our students, seeing their excitement about the newness of it all, is what I look forward to and prepare for most of the summer.  The energy in the middle school setting is almost palpable and it is fantastic! It is much like the happiness that my new little scholar is experiencing today.
     I've sadly come to realize, though, that the genuine excitement for school often begins to decline as the newness of the school year fades.  Especially now, in a time when education is evolving as a result of outside influences and pressures that feel so out of our control as teachers, it's easy for us to become overwhelmed and lose site of the positive energy that envelopes us in those first days and weeks of a new school year.  If it's that easy for us to lose momentum, what about our students?
     These thoughts lead me to pose this question:  How do you keep your students engaged and motivated to learn once the newness of the school year fades? Since this blog is aptly named Middle School Matters Blog, and we know motivation matters, it would be wonderful to see some fantastic ideas and suggestions for keeping students excited about school beyond the first days of orientation.  Please consider sharing in the comments below.

I hope your first days of this school year bring you as much happiness as they promise to bring our little man!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Thank you so much for taking a moment to check out my blog. The Middle School Matters Blog is currently under construction, but I'm eager to start sharing ideas and resources with my fellow middle school teachers very soon!

To show my appreciation for taking your time to stop by, I would like to share with you the first of many "freebies" I will be posting here.  As your new adventure - known as this school year - begins, I know that planning is on everyone's mind.  I'm hoping that my Daily Planning Template is something that you will find helpful.  Please be sure to check back with Middle School Matters Blog for more useful resources, helpful hints, and fabulous finds!

Enjoy the freebie - and thanks again!
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