Last time I was home I had the chance to look through my old 2002-2003 yearbook. When I was in the seventh grade I would have used one word to describe my friends and me—cool. However, looking back almost ten years later, there is only one word that comes to mind—awkward. We thought that our school spirited braces bands, brightly colored Saucony’s and Shox, Abercrombie baby tees, and Nokia cell phones were the greatest things since sliced bread. Dances at the armory on 468 were the social event of the week and if you didn’t attend you were a lost cause (sadly, I did not attend). We lived such simple lives. The smallest things could make us happy or turn our world upside down. What a crazy, wonderful life.
I would have thought that in the years since I was in seventh grade, the seventh grade population would have gotten at least a little bit cooler. Maybe they’d realize that Clark’s Wallabees aren’t the coolest shoes they’ll ever own, wearing too much eyeliner isn’t attractive on anyone, and no, that Abercrombie baby tee is not worth the $40 you paid for it. However, I can safely say that today’s seventh graders are no different than my friends and I. Unfortunately, awkwardness during the pre-teen years is a universal epidemic.
This semester I have been so very blessed with the opportunity to observe in a seventh grade Western Civilization class at Lafayette Middle School. When I changed my major to education I was certain that my heart was for high school students, not smelly, hormonal preteens. I could not have been more wrong. Their weird fashion sense, awkward questions, and desire to know everything has surprised me and they have stolen my heart. Watching them I have learned so much! There isn’t a single “cool kid” in the seventh grade. Everyone (including myself ag age 13) has bad hair, baby fat, and braces.
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
But, the beautiful thing is—we’re all God’s children! No matter how bizarre or off the wall these kids might be, they are all children of The King and they are all beautifully and wonderfully made. Regardless of how different they all are, they have incredible potential and I can’t wait to see where they all end up!
I am so excited about being a teacher one day and influencing children’s lives. My teachers had a lasting impression on my life and I hope one day I am for my students the example they were for me! To all of my fabulous teachers, thank you.
Peace & Blessings