Summer is upon us. Most teachers and students are ready for summer. Teachers are trying to finish up crazy to-do lists, while students are frantically turning in late work. As I was looking through my last bit of lesson plans and trying to figure out what else I "need" my students to know before they leave, I realized something... My 8th Graders are going the high school next year. They won't be in my class driving me crazy or pulling at my heartstrings.
You see, I get these guys when they enter 6th grade. I like to call my 6th graders babies. They really are in terms of being Jr. High students (and their breakfast in the classroom behavior and manners). I spend three years with them and they become my children. I have watched these students laugh, talk too much, and cry. They have made me laugh, talk too much, and cry. The truth is, I will miss them more than I can put into words. Even though I know they will do great in high school, I worry about them.
Ok, ok... Enough of the mushy stuff. You 8th graders are probably reading this and thinking either "Wow, I never knew she was such a softy" or "Who is this alien pretending to be Mrs. McFarlain". It's true, I have a little bit of a soft side, but don't worry. I'm not going to slack off on you.
So here we go...
To Jackson, Joshua, Gage, Destiny, Zane, Christian, Zavalla, Jacob, Katie, Coral, Jorge, and Marshall:
Love Yourself, Love Others.
Dream Big, Work Harder.
Create, explore, and investigate.
Make History Everyday.
Research and cite your sources.
Go Big or Go Home.
Go to Win, Win, Win,
But if you don't, learn from your mistakes (Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad)
Always Shout "Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad" when you read it.
Don't trust what you read on the internet or what the media throws at you.
GT is not the classes you take, it's who you are.
Build others up.
Good is the enemy of Great.
Never stop learning.
Laugh... A lot.
You are responsible for your own learning and education.
No talking means no talking. Whispering is talking.
Listen more than you talk and try not to interrupt others when they are talking.
Life is not fair. There will be circumstances beyond your control, but you must persevere and be great, "After all, tomorrow is another day".
I expect to see big and important things from you in the future.
Study - Being GT does not mean you know everything, part of being smart is knowing what you are dumb at.
People do not like being corrected as much as you like to correct.
Sometimes you have to go with the flow, other times, you have to fight the tide
Burning effigies or using tar and feathers is probably not the best protest method.
If you have to yell or talk over someone to prove your point, your point may not be that good.
Practice writing in cursive (especially your signature).
Be careful what you post on social media. Dirty laundry needs to go into the washing machine not posted online. Colleges and employers check social media before references when looking at applicants.
And one last thing to remember:
I hope that you heard my voice as you read through these. I hope that I taught you even more than what I listed. I also hope that you noticed that most of my list had nothing to do with "history", but the things we learn as we live out history (and study others' history). You are an amazing group of students. Everyone of you possess a character and intelligence that is perfect for the works ahead of you. I love you, even though you're "so weird". (Not only did you hear me say "so weird", but you imagined my facial expression too. Don't lie, you did). :)