I hope that your week has been amazing. I'm back from Student Council Workshop, and oh man. What a whole week it has been. I have LOVED the time I got to spend with my kids, hearing their big ideas for this next year, watching them compromise with each other, and set goals. It's been amazing. I also got to facilitate a group of about 20 students from all over during a good part of each day, putting into practice what they were learning in sessions, and making their own little Council in our team. They had to choose a mascot, a team name, elect officers, complete a bunch of challenges, and work together as those officers lead the group in accomplishing their tasks. It was a blast.
Because of course, none of the decision-making went quietly or simply, we ended up as The Uni-phants. That's right. A hybrid elephant and unicorn. For some perspective, other teams were things like warriors, scholar-ships, one team even chose French toast as their mascot. Not us:
Truthfully, the team time was the part I was most nervous about. There were more students from more affluent schools in attendance, and I have zero experience teaching/leading that type of kid, so I felt pretty out of my depth, but really, they're kids. And it ended up working out really well. I think from my view of things it's sometimes easy to forget that those affluent kids didn't choose their affluence any more than mine chose their lack thereof. It's the simpler choice to bundle them all together in my mind as "Mean Girls" and while there are plenty of those, they aren't all that person. Just like it's easy for people from their background to assume that all kids from my school and schools like it are all a certain type of way. It's just not always true.
There were, however, several instances during the week where I got to witness/hear about my students correcting some misnomers about kids from a certain school or that look a certain way and I was super proud. As we all know, it's not often easy being the person speaking up for what's right, especially when it would be the popular choice to say nothing--it's even more difficult when you're a middle schooler. But I saw it happen, and what's more, they spoke up for those being misjudged, or generalized about, in a way that was so mature and controlled. It gives me hope. One of my officers, when telling me about one of these instances even stopped when my jaw fell open at the words that were said to her to remind me, "I know. It was pretty bad. But, honestly, Miss Cayton--I could tell that she was just repeating something about Mexicans that she'd heard who knows how many people say. She just doesn't know any of us. And now she does."
Again, blown away by my kids. Constantly.
I've loved spending time getting to know them this week and watching them grow as leaders. I'm excited for what they have in store for this year, and I'm excited to sleep in my own bed tonight.
Have a good one!