This I remember. I remember the first days of school when those sixth graders entered my classroom. They all had one thing in common.
They were always looking for something. For a few, it was trouble. For others it was a friend, teacher approval, good grades, or a way to escape or outdistance whatever was chasing them.
As I look back, through the heart of a teacher, I realized this search most always centered on their need for somebody to understand them.
On one spring day we called the writing assignment, “The Real Me.” It took place March 22,1990 in the Petal, MS Middle School. I know the date because the sixth grade writer entered it at the top of her paper.
Would you like to understand our children in 2006 in a more defined way? Listen with your heart as you read their writing assignment. You may be surprised what you learn.
“The Real Me”
The real me can’t be seen from the outside. People I love can only see it. Now I’m not the best there is with all this lovey-dovey stuff. I don’t really tell them that stuff, but I try to show them with my actions.
“The Real Me”
No one sees the real me. I am very funny…but no one ever laughs. Not many people even want to see it so I just try to be serious. Sometimes I feel like an encyclopedia. I know a lot, but hardly anyone wants to know what I know.
“The Real Me”
People see me as a bully or a smart mouth. But the real me is just adventurous. I love to romp the woods and sit down to watch the animals play. I love to make things. I whittle statues out of pinewood or make whistles out of bamboo.
(The next day.) I didn’t get completed on what I said yesterday. The other side I never let anyone see is an angry side. I hope no one ever sees this side.
"The Real You"
Do you remember I wrote you might be surprised when you read what my students wrote those many years ago? Teachers, maybe the big surprise was you saw “The Real You” for the first time in my sixth graders' writing assignment.
By the way if you are a real teacher…then TEACH. Always remember, the real teacher makes learning a JOY.
Billie, as one who also teaches in school (part-time), I delighted in reading this posting. I read this thinking, "Now how could this be written in 1990, for this has thoughts similar to what I might have written if it had been my assignment." I was in school long before that year, so this tells me many of us think alike in many ways. Thanks so much for submitting this, for it takes us into a look at ourselves. Thomas
Billie, this piece is so tender and beautifully put together! It was a true inspiration that prompted you to give such an insightful writing assignment in the first place. It makes my heart yearn for the kids to find the Father's joy in them, and to celebrate their amazing uniqueness. I so appreciate your insight about them all looking for something, for someone to really understand them, to listen to their hearts. In the course of ministry, I've see the same child inside many, many adult bodies, including mine. What a joy to bring love into a starved life! May He bless you always . . . You are a 'true mother in Israel!'