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.