My little sophomores are so cute. Don’t tell them I said that, though. To them, at 15-16 years old, cute isn’t a compliment. But I mean it as a sincere compliment.
A few examples to illustrate my point. Today we had a test in Scripture. They came in and wanted to write “Knowledge Celebration” on the board with balloons. They proceeded to gather around the board and do that–one person delegated to write “knowledge” and the other “celebration.” Someone else wrote off to the side “Celebratory woop!!”
After prayer, a couple students begged to tell a story of their adventure last class period. I gave them three minutes. One of them rapidly told the story, including much animation, humor, and excitement. The other outlined the story on the board with rudimentary symbols and signs. In the end, the class politely applauded the adventure that had occurred.
Yesterday I wore glasses to school for the first time. This sophomore class was the only one to mention anything about them, although I am sure most of the other students noticed.
Student 1: “Have you ever worn glasses to this class before?”
Student 2: “You look like a whole new woman!”
Student 3: “You look very scholarly.”
(Murmurs of assent.)
The other day one of my students gave me a back-handed compliment. He meant it in the best way but it isn’t exactly in the way a teacher desires to hear it. (But as compliments are hard to come by in this profession, you take what you can get.)
“It feels like we never do anything in this class and yet I feel like I am learning a lot.”
“No, I mean–I enjoy this class so much it never feels like work.”
They are at an interesting point in their lives. They are in the midst of high school life. Growing up, they are determining who they will be for the rest of their lives. Yet there is an innocence that is found within them. Particularly this class. They have troubles and stresses but they are genuinely good kids. And I love them all the more for it. They are definitely not perfect, but they are sophomores and they give me hope in a seemingly hopeless world.
I wonder what the Lord has planned with their beautiful, fragile, so-much-potential lives. And I am thankful to be a part of it, if only for a while.