Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Mrs. Larson's class taught me to love 6th grade . . .

I have a confession to make . . . I hated 6th grade!

Okay, maybe hate is a strong word. Strongly disliked is probably more like it.

It was a time of transitions and changes for me. Gone were the little kid stuff I enjoyed for so long - Barbie's, etc. and in came other things like boys and frenemies.

Yes, I had a frenemy . . . there I said it!

I had my first major knock-down fight with my best friend at the time (with a faint scar on my left arm to prove it), and my first boyfriend (for approximately 24 hours).

I was becoming more and more self-conscious about how I looked, thanks to a few kids in my class who had no problem expressing their opinion about me. So I spent a lot of time in the one place I felt safe . . . our school library working on my bookworm ways.

When my oldest son went through 6th grade, he didn't have the easiest of times either so I was able to sympathize and help him through it. But even though I really liked his 6th grade teacher (Mrs. Larson) and thought she did a great job with him, my deep-seeded feelings about 6th grade hadn't changed.

Until this year.

This is my second year working with a special-needs child at our school. A job that I have loved and enjoyed. But when we started the school year last August I had to wonder . . . was I going to feel the same about the grade that had caused me such problems?

I can tell you in all honesty . . . absolutely not!

This year has been an eye-opener, and not just because my own daughter is experiencing it herself. I have had the opportunity to spend time with some really great kids and a teacher (the same Mrs. Larson) who is nothing short of amazing in her dedication to the kids.

She gave me the opportunity to read to the kids a little bit from my Young Adult novel that I'm waiting to hear about from an editor. The wait has been long and frustrating at times, but the more I read to them, the more the kids would hoot and holler when Mrs. Larson told them I was going to read. It has been such a soul lifter, one that makes the long wait worth it.

And has convinced me that this is my calling.

But now that we're about 5 weeks away from finishing the year, I'm starting to wish the kids in our class didn't have to leave to move onto Junior High next year . . . and that I didn't have to move on with them.

But I will always be grateful to Mrs. Larson and all the kids in her class for giving me a year to remember. And for making my own 6th grade year a far distant memory.

Thanks guys! Love, Mrs. Aikins :)

No comments:

Post a Comment