Dear 8th grade,
I’m wondering a lot about how we are growing and who we growing into. Did you know that Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States wrote a book called Becoming, about her journey to who she is? I haven’t read it yet, but I know in it she describes her journey from Chicago to the White House. Today, I ask you, I ask myself, “Who are we becoming?”
Are we becoming men and women of character, people who can be trusted? Are we people who are real, or do we strive to be just another image on Instagram? If we are only working towards the latter or second goal then something is wrong.
I think that today our involvement in and with social media is to our detriment or harm. We never want to take off the veneers of not who we really are but whom we think we should be. So we hide behind this mask, and maybe we’ve started to believe it. Then we meet people who push back and ask us to take off the fake and begin to tell the truth. They give us permission to confess that we are not who we say or even think we are, and our systems are shocked.
I’ve noticed this thing about middle school - almost everyone lies. The things that shock me are the straight faces, no hesitation, the no backing down attitude until confronted with another version of the truth. Some of the lies are simple, “So and so, did you finish the problem on the board?” “Yes, Ms. St. Jean,” is the reply. And then I walk over to where you are sitting and you have completed not one iota of work! Truly, I am in shock!
I can't fault you for lying. I think society needs to take some of the blame. There is a pressure to be perfect pushing this generation. You're young and don't know how to deal with it. I'm older but I can't say that the burden goes away; I just think that you learn to deal with it better. This type of stress should not be normalized so I refuse to make it that way. Here's what's what: let's keep working on achieving a mindset that says, "If I can't handle something, I am going to seek help. I'm not going to lie about it. I'm going to confront the stress with truth. If I tell the truth, maybe things will get better."
Beautiful people, let's walk towards truth.
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.