This morning there was a teenager in my kitchen. Oh, it's okay; she wasn't stealing the toaster. In fact, she wanted me to fix her toast. Well, I told her to do it. She's my niece and I had invited her over for the night since her mom was out working the graveyard shift. I went upstairs after leaving her to make her own breakfast and told my husband: "There's a teenager in our kitchen. Just how long exactly have we been married?"
For the last school year I haven't had much interaction with teenagers since ditching 8th grade teaching to work in a building that's K-6. This year I'm back in the same school—working all day now—and I will likely have more interaction with those 6th graders than I did before. They're pretty close to the teen years, so I'm wondering if I'll have my work cut out for me. I just hope I don't have to face apathy.
My niece has been great in school and enjoyed it pretty well—so far. Arg! School drives out the joy and creativity in so many children! Let it not strangle my niece! She's surrounded by educated family—teachers and engineers for example—but we all had our share of boring classes and mean teachers. And she's in a big new middle school this year: it's crowded and full of teachers happy just to have jobs. I hope they are there for more than just a paycheck.
(some musings continued from Sunday morning)