10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1

For our literary essay in writing, we have chosen some stories for our students to read and use to write on.  One story titled “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros really hit home with me in regards to my students.  In the story, the main character Rachel wakes up on her 11th birthday and isn’t excited.  She realizes that she is not just 11, but she is also 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.

I relate that to my students because even though they are just 9 and 10, they sometimes act like they are also all of those other ages.  If you read my last blog, I mentioned a student who had a really rough ending to the day on Thursday.  He had a major melt down, and I couldn’t help thinking of a three year old that would throw a similar fit.  As I go on throughout the course of a year, you can also see that these 9 and 1o year olds still display some characteristics that younger children display.

I love teaching this age because they are old enough to understand my humor, and they are starting to become more independent.  They learn to be more responsible, and I have expectations that reflect that.  Every once in a while I am reminded that they are still just kids though.  I see them sometimes get attached to you like they are a five year old.  They can throw tantrums and cry like they are a two or three year old.  Sometimes they still need the reassurance of a six year old.

In the story Cisneros described kids as being like onions, and I couldn’t agree more.  These kids all have layers to them, and sometimes will display all ages, not just the one they are expected to display.  As a teacher, I have to use this information to treat them as such. I need to remember that sometimes they are going to need to cry, or have someone give them some extra attention.  I have to use these experiences as a way to be more understanding to their feelings and actions.  I also need to realize that they are still young, and that even though they are 9 and 10, they still carry around the inner 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 year old inside of them.



  1. Dana Murphy · March 5, 2016

    The connection to Eleven is really strong. It’s like you took the story and saw your own students in it. You’re really compassionate and thoughtful when it comes to your students, and I honestly wouldn’t have guessed that about you. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mcteaguem · March 5, 2016

    Ha ha!! I have that hidden side, just don’t like to show it around you jokesters. I do this job for a reason, I just like to have fun while doing it!


  3. andresenb · March 5, 2016

    I love this post! It’s so true, and not only for 10 year olds! I love the line, “I need to remember that sometimes they are going to need to cry, or have someone give them some extra attention. I have to use these experiences as a way to be more understanding to their feelings and actions.” It’s clear that you are empathetic to their needs, and I’m sure they see that in you.


  4. jehansen13 · March 5, 2016

    What a great connection! I think it’s that way even for adults, though I definitely relate when thinking about my students. Sandra Cisneros had some great reflections that ring true and also remind us of students’ (and people’s) complexity.


  5. macksworldsite · March 5, 2016

    I love this story and I really, really loved how you related it to your own students.


  6. theteachingbee · March 5, 2016

    What an excellent piece of advice. I teach Third Graders and have definitely seen all stages. I will carry this notion with me whenever I teach. Thank you!


  7. beckymusician · March 6, 2016

    I’m going to have to read Eleven now. What great connections you made, and it’s so true about kids. I teach 4th also and some days I feel like I’m teaching kindergarten and sometimes we’re headed toward adolescence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mcteaguem · March 6, 2016

      Exactly Becky! That’s almost part of the fun of teaching is that you never know what each day will bring! Hopefully more of the adolescent than kindergarten…I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • beckymusician · March 6, 2016

        As long as they don’t start the boyfriend-girlfriend thing! 4th grade to too early!!


  8. ams4blog · March 6, 2016

    Love this Slice! We have to remember that even though we have 9 and 10 year old expectations, we also have to have compassion for all the 8, 7, 6, 5 4, 3, 2, 1 sides of our students too! Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mcteaguem · March 6, 2016

      Thanks for not stealing it!


      • ams4blog · March 6, 2016

        Haha! You’re welcome! Truth be told, I almost did 🙂


  9. kathyschuitema · March 6, 2016

    I’ve heard about this story but not read it yet. What an insightful way to think about our students! This will help me relate to my new bunch of kiddos as I head back to the classroom next year. I feel the truth in this for my own self as well!


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