Mr. Massey's Neighborhood

Principal's Corner

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Experience.....Life's Greatest Teacher

I remember it like it was yesterday.....Brookside Intermediate School, 6th grade Valentine's Dance. The smell of Stetson Sierra filled the air. 50 MS boys gathered up together all wondering who would be the first to ask a girl to dance. "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal comes across the speakers. I technically had a "girlfriend" (although we never actually spoke), so I made my way across the floor and asked her to dance. We danced probably the most awkward dance in history, and then parted ways....never to speak again.

Although somewhat painful to recall this story, it came flooding back as we had our Dewey MS Valentine's Dance on Saturday. I observed so many of the young folks in attendance going through the same awkward experience I had so many years ago. I even talked to a young man who expressed his anxiety about meeting his date's father, and how he tried to make a joke and was met with a stern glare. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a true learning experience.

When I tell people I work with Middle School kids, I'm often met with responses such as " I could never do that" or "That is the worst age", etc. etc. But I've gotta tell you, being able to walk alongside these kids as they go through experiences that will shape them as people (like going to your first school dance) is highly rewarding. Sometimes their experiences are painful, fun, embarrassing, exciting, character-building, sad, hilarious......but isn't that how life is?

As Aristotle once said "there can be no true learning without pain". Even though it can be hard in the moment, those experiences are what make us. I learned never to wear Stetson Sierra again, and my student learned to not make jokes to your date's father, and we're both better for it.

Until next time, from my neighborhood to yours.....

Mr. Massey