Real Talk With A 3rd, 7th, 8th and 10th Grader At The End Of Summer

We head back to school next week. And, though I’m trying to squeeze in a few more late nights and summer beach bummin’ I have to admit I’m ready for them to head back to the classroom.

But while there is a motley crew of age groups rolling around in my house on the last days of summer, I decided to interview them.

Here’s what an 8 year-old going into 3rd grade, two 12 year-olds (one going to 7th and the other to 8th), and a 15 year-old going into 10th grade have to say about the new school year. It’s pretty dang dead-on.

You ready to go back to school next week? Why or why not?

3rd: Yes, I’m ready to see all my friends and learn more.

7th: Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing my friends. I miss them.

8th: I’m looking forward to being in school and being with my friends again.

10th: I actually am excited to go back to school. I like high school. It’s a challenge, but I like it.

What do you hope to learn this year?

3rd: I’m looking forward to learning a lot more math and science. Math is one of my favorite subjects and one of my main priorities in school. I just feel like I haven’t been learning enough science, so I just want to focus more on it. We didn’t do a lot of science in 2nd grade. It was at the end of the day and sometimes we wouldn’t have enough time.

7th: I’m going into Algebra so I’m looking forward to that, even though it might make my head hurt. And, I’m looking forward to Social Studies because it’s one of my fav subjects. I love history so I’m looking forward to learning more about that.

8th: I’m looking forward to Biology.  Life science is my favorite science because it includes living things, and plants, and animals, and the environment. I have to do Honors Algebra this year. Not sure how that’s gonna go. We are going to find out. But I’m excited about Honors Biology.

10th: I have all honors classes. The hardest are Chemistry and World History. I hope I get all A’s!

How do you think you will be different at the end of the year?

3rd: I’ll be 10 times smarter.

8th: I’ll be smarter. Maybe I’ll have some new friends; meet new people; learn new things…

10th: I’ll be a sophomore this year, and not a bottom-of-the-pile freshman. Maybe I’ll go to my first party. Not the crazy kind…like a chill party.

What kind of teachers are you hoping for?

3rd: A good one who always cares about reading, science and math. I want a teacher who is about straight-down-learning. Yes, and fun too. Well…learning is fun. So, I want a fun teachers that’s still committed to learning.

7th: Well, I have the same teachers I had last year. I already know them.

8th: Nice teachers who are understanding, and talk to their students to have a relationship. Maybe funny ones, who don’t give a lot of homework!

10th: Teachers that will listen to you… like really listen. Not just criticize, but help you get through things and listen to what you have to say.

Anything you are worried about?

3rd: No, not really. Even though I’ve heard that if you don’t pass 3rd grade then you won’t get a high-paying job. But I’m not worried about it because I know I’m going to pass 3rd grade. I didn’t think about passing 2nd grade, so…

7th: Nope, not really.

8th: This is my last year in middle school. Eeeek!

10th: No, not really actually.

I can’t make this stuff up. Well I could, but it wouldn’t be half as interesting. They want for themselves all the things we fight to give them. Our kids are eager to learn, and to put in the work. They can’t wait to see what we teach them in their favorite subjects.

How do we grab on to their joy and multiply it this year? Or, will we screw it up with our ‘adultism’ and politics? Will we build the relationships they are screaming for? Will this be the year we keep our eye on the ball?

I hope this has your brain working overtime because all I have to say is, “Welcome to the new school year y’all!” If you’re not as jazzed as our kids are you have about 4 days to ramp it up. I happen to know a hardcore crew of 3rd, 7th, 8th and 10th graders who will be holding you accountable.

(Oh, and by the way, 2 of these kids are in private school and 2 are in traditional public. Bet you can’t tell the difference. Education winning!)

What do you think?


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