Dear 8th Grade,
I was wondering what to write to you all this week. In our Socioemotional Learning or SEL class, we read Zero by Kathryn Otoshi, a book about being valued and making your life count. (I told you about how I first read this book when I was at Columbia, and I guess that made it seem less like a book for the "littles" and appropriate for your age group.) We discussed Zero's statement, "I’ll never have value. I’ll never be part of the count.” We spoke of the statement as having a double-entendre. I want you all to know that even adults struggle with this idea of making sure that our lives have significance.
I think the hard thing about living during this day and age is how much access we have to what other people are doing. We feel this push to be perfect now. We feel this pull towards being immediately successful We have stopped realizing that growth is progressive, and that becoming takes time. I read this quote on Twitter this past week, "Don’t let the internet rush you. No one is posting their failures." In many instances, that is a truth we can embrace. We're humans - we really like looking like we have it all together. The truth is the moment you have it all together, or think that you do, something else throws you off balance, and now you have to learn something new.
But the cool thing about being in school is that you get to see failure, and it should be normal. School is supposed to be the place where you realize no one is perfect - least of all me. This year, I hope you learn from my failures, and hopefully there will be places to celebrate our successes. Don't be discouraged because today you're not perfect, just keep moving forward.
Ms. St. Jean
Ms. St. Jean
Native New Yorker teaching and living the middle school life, using this site to keep it 100. My students are the embodiment of joy.