Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

5th and 6th Awesomeness

I distinctly remember being in 5th grade. It was hard sometimes, but overall, it was awesome.

One of my more vivid memories is being in the car while my mother was driving me somewhere. I remember that a feeling came over me, and I started feeling really grown up. Screen Shot 2012-12-28 at 9.14.53 AMI thought that I pretty much knew everything I’d need to know to live in the adult world. My parents were done raising me. Sure, I could still learn some stuff, but I remember feeling like I mostly understood the way things work. I knew that my mom would disagree, but I thought she was wrong. At the time, the feeling of confidence was pretty strong, and it felt great!

6th grade homeroomI don’t know if I’ve ever admitted that to anyone, but now it’s public on the internet. And now that I’m an adult, I can look back and see how much more I had to learn. In fact, as I got older, the world just got more and more complicated — not simpler as I had expected.

I don’t mean to imply that life was easy back then. I also have very strong memories of feeling left out and insecure. I spent lots of time worrying if other people liked me. I looked at my older sister and thought that she had everything compared to me. I thought she was prettier, smarter, funnier, and nicer than me. I felt that I had no hope to ever be as cool as her. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to live up to a standard that I thought I could never achieve.

Screen Shot 2012-12-28 at 9.14.43 AM

Being a kid isn’t easy, but there’s nothing like that process of discovery. I love teaching 5th and 6th grade because it is a magical age. My students are hopeful and confident, but also fearful and cautious. They are each so ernest about becoming the adult that will one day take over their body. Teaching them reminds me how raw we all are.

Human beings can be really silly sometimes…

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6th grade modeling photoAnd we can also take ourselves very seriously sometimes. Over time, some of us are able to find a good balance between the silly and the serious, but it’s a hard thing to do.

I’m an adult, and I’m still working on it.

That’s why I like hanging out with 5th and 6th graders. They remind me to keep having fun, but also to be ernest about solving the world’s biggest mysteries. Because they are truly important to solve. We’re all learning together every day.

6th grade bandSo, thank to all of my 5th and 6th grade friends for inspiring me and teaching me every day! I hope you enjoy these photos which I dug up during my holiday visit with my family. Since I get to see you growing up, it seems only fair that you can get a peek into my youth.

To close this post (hopefully before completely embarrassing myself), I wanted to share this little video that I came across online recently. It compares life to music, and reminds us what it’s all really about — not the destination, but the journey itself. I didn’t know all this the first time around, so maybe that’s why I’m back in middle school getting to journey all over again.

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7 thoughts on “5th and 6th Awesomeness

  1. Joseph McCoy on said:

    Love this post! A wonderful teacher reflects!

    • It feels so good reading all about you and understanding how much similar we all are experiencing the same problems and worries while being a teenager. You are very good at writing and it is always a thrill to read your blog.

      • Thank you Lydia! That’s part of why I love travel. It makes us see that we are all much more similar than we thought! Happy holidays to you and your family. Let’s catch up soon!

  2. Edith C. on said:

    this is nice, it actually helped me reflect on myself. I am really still trying to find the balance between serious and funny :). I also have this motto that I made for myself in 6th grade: If being serious is boring, i’d rather be silly. It kind of true, but you need to find the balance between too silly and just right. I also found that as I got older, i began to just get naturally less silly, im pretty sure its clalled “maturing” but i still like to be silly.

  3. Anna S. HB Gates on said:

    Great post and video, Ms. Krakauer!!!!
    You look just like your childhood photos!! 🙂

    I’ve felt confident just like you felt confident before. Sometimes I feel so happy and confident that I know everything in the world is all right. Sometimes I feel so happy that I could just fly. But sometimes I feel left out, like I’m not really noticed or liked. I always get over that feeling at some point though.
    Your post and video also got me thinking. I’ve set a lot of dreams/goals for my life and recently wrote a whole bunch down, trying to get them organized. Sometimes I find myself not being the person that I want to be. I would start thinking why I might be acting like or feeling like this. I’d start thinking of ways I could improve myself.
    I have a ton of goals written down, I don’t know if some of them are even possible. I’m kind of nervous that I might not reach some of them. Maybe I will. But then again, like the video, there probably isn’t an end. It’s just a part of your life that you’ve accomplished, with more journeys and hopes and dreams that are coming, keeping your life still alive with purpose.
    I hope we’ll all have a better future.

    Best Wishes!!
    😉 ~ Anna

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