Kids are awesome. Part of the reason I love teaching middle school is getting to celebrate important days of the year with them. For example, what were you doing at 12:12 today, 12-12-12? This is what our 5th and 6th graders were doing:
People love traditions, but too often adults pretend that they are too busy to celebrate important days. That’s never the case in middle school! It’s not uncommon to see lots of green on St. Patrick’s Day and silly costumes on Halloween. I’m never surprised to hear little jingle bells as students shuffle in the halls throughout December. We even plan a holiday party or two throughout the year. Marking these important days helps us appreciate the time that is passing.
Many of the holidays we celebrate are specific to American celebrations. I wonder, what holidays are celebrated in schools around the world? Do any readers out there know about important days that we might not recognize?
At our school, Innovation Academy, we also have our own school traditions. One of these is Quality Night. Twice a year, we invite family members, friends, and community members to learn about the work happening in our middle school. Each student does his or her presentation to at least two adults, most often someone who they’ve never met. The students present the projects that they are most proud of, and they share with audience members how they learned and grew while working on the piece. It’s a very exciting night.
Last Thursday, at this year’s first Quality Night, I interviewed a few 5th graders about their experience presenting for the first time:
As you can see, students were nervous, but part of the fun is getting through that. Every year, I get to be in middle school again. It never gets old. All of our traditions feel warm and familiar, and there’s always something new to celebrate. Happy 12-12-12 to all you readers out there!