It’s easy to forgot I still have a child. He is mature. I am fairly sure he writes better than I did in high school and speaks better than I did in college. He is an old soul. Loves the Beatles and Elvis and Back to the Future. He’d rather read than play games. Would rather play with his cats than play with his toys (the few he still keeps).
But, then he turns on Disney channel and is engrossed in what I would call a kids movie and he gushes over characters he used to watch on Jessie.
And then I think…
How often do we, as educators, remember our students are just kids? How often do we consider this when giving homework and grading assignments? How often do we include play? Appeal to the child within them? Even in middle school and high school?
It’s easy to forget. Because sometimes our students act wiser than their years and we can get lost in it. We expect a lot out of our students. It’s not on purpose. We get excited about their potential.
I can vividly remember coming back to work after having my son. He was about 2 years old. I had taken time off to be a mommy. When I came back to work there was the obvious angst over leaving my small child in daycare, but there was also serious concern for our youngest students as I watched five-year-olds be ushered through lunch lines and climb off buses alone.
They are so little, I thought. They are babies.
Becoming a mother had made me far more attuned to the assumptions we make about our students, their abilities, and their needs. It had made me more aware that they were, after all, just babies. Really.
So, as we plan for the upcoming year and build our learning plans, let’s not forget our students (most of them) are still kids and honor them as such.