On occasion, I have the privilege of serving as a substitute teacher when there’s a last minute need. I enjoy interfacing with the kids in the classroom, as it reminds me of the importance of connections and learning. This past week I spent a few hours with the Middle School students. They had smiles on their faces when I told them they were “stuck” with me for English and Social Studies instruction that day.
As I taught these pre-teens, I was struck by how serious they are about their studies. Not that they demonstrated stress, but more so, the intrinsic motivation to do their very best. The English concepts were not easy – indefinite pronouns and double negatives, but they were “all in” as they independently applied the concepts.
I also had the opportunity to get personal feedback on their journey to Yosemite National Park. This was a new adventure for us, so I was eager to hear their perceptions and opinions. After a brief discussion I posed the question, “Would you recommend this trip for future Rohan Woods students and why?” Their answers were quite remarkable.
Not one student responded with the succinct answer of “It was fun.” No, they dug much deeper than that. They talked about how this trip builds perseverance, grit and leadership skills and how the journey makes kids understand how independent they are. They also shared that it’s the perfect place to build relationships and create new friendships. This all coming from eleven and twelve year olds, along with a unanimous “yes” on sending future students.
I was quite proud of our Middle Schoolers. Many have matured and blossomed right before my very eyes becoming incredible human beings who are prepared to tackle anything that comes their way.