Walking the Line in the Middle Years
Young adults? Older children? Something in between? Tween is a neat description for these amazing people in education's middle years. Walking the line between adulthood and childhood, they venture forward into mature responsibilities and retreat back to a child's freedoms. Or is it really a back-and-forth suggesting a nether place between two states of being?
Tweens are certainly in a transitional time in so many respects. I am very aware of balancing their need to experiment and experience adult rights and responsibilities with the comfort, familiarity, and safety-net of their earlier years. I recognizing that they are, themselves, learning that balance and that there will be missteps and challenges along the way. The balancing act is fun - finding legitimate, authentic, and meaningful opportunities to give students choices and responsibilities that fulfill their desire to be treated like adults while still celebrating their youth. These are the kids who in one breath will talk passionately about global social justice issues and, in the next, be skipping down the hallway gobbling like turkeys.
Their desire for responsibility, the brave forays into independence, the bold experimentations with personal identity are remarkable milestones in their personal growth; it is one of the many aspects of my career that I value.