It's days like today that remind me why I teach. The kids took the math CRCT (state standardized test) yesterday, so we had an easy day of a math word search and watching a movie. I let the kids vote on either watching The Blind Side or Finding Nemo. While many of them complained about Nemo, most of the classes voted to watch that movie.
I have never seen so much joy, excitement, and engagement on their faces! One of my favorite students had the biggest smile on his faces, laughing and quoting his favorite parts. What touched my heart the most was watching some of my toughest students, especially the "tough guys," being completely enthralled with this animated movie!
Today reminded me that I teach KIDS! I think throughout the year, when I'm trying to get through all of the material, I think of them more as adults and forget the fact that middle schoolers still enjoy "childish" things. They may act too cool or complain about it, but when it comes down to it, they still want to enjoy acting like kids. I began thinking about ways that I can incorporate this fact into my classroom on a regular basis to let them begin enjoy learning.
I am very thankful for my students and for the expressions I saw on their faces today. It was quite refreshing to see them enjoying themselves and being kids, even if it was only for 70 minutes today.