Let’s be honest; 47 minutes a day is not enough time to teach kids all that they need to know about reading and writing at the seventh grade level.

But, it’s all that I get, so every day, I endeavor to make the most of it. In the last 10 years, the wish for more time to cover a lesson has crossed my mind at least a few hundred times.

Yesterday, I had 84 minutes to solidify a series of lessons that I had been working on with my advisory kids. We had spent hours in the weeks preceding this advisory processing respect, responsibility and the school rules.

We began by discussing a problem from the greeting board.

“Why would writing Jesus Christ as your favorite part of winter be considered disrespectful?”

The kids honestly had no idea.

We talked about the fact that Jesus doesn’t have much to do with winter, but that Christmas might be a more appropriate response.

Then, we had a conversation about the flipping/dabbing/mannequin plague that has infected our school. It was a bit rocky, but the kids seemed to get there. Then, we got to the exciting part.

“I notice that all of these problems stem from Youtube and social media. Do you guys think that middle schoolers are responsible enough to be ‘loosed on the internet?'” I asked.

They all argued that they were mature enough to handle it.

“Okay… so if you watched a Youtube video about making a bomb, but didn’t make one, is that alright?” I asked.

NO. They all responded.

“Stick with me… Who has watched a ‘roast?'”

16/18 raised their hands.

“Who has used a line from the roast against a friend?”

14/18 raised their hands.

“Did your friends laugh when you did it?”


“Do you think that they could have been laughing to cover up their hurt?”

A resounding NO filled the room.

We processed this for a bit, and I felt like the kids really learned something. We referenced our earlier discussions about stories of kids laughing to cover hurt, and how to respect peoples feelings. I had 84 minutes, after all, and the kids had all participated and seemed engaged.

Then, on the way out of class, a kid took out her phone and snapped a picture of a classmate “dabbing” in front of my “no dabbing” sign.

Its never enough.




2 thoughts on “NEVER ENOUGH

  1. This is an important topic which, with media and screen technology weaving deeper into our culture, is playing a bigger role in early adolescent development and education. It seems to take many attempts, but the more discussions like these our kids can be part of, the sooner they’ll be able to adjust and make healthier decisions when interacting within their community… at least that’s the hope!


    1. My mentor in grad school used to have a phrase about the “hope in the unseen.” Thanks for the reminder that changes are probably happening, even if they aren’t visible in the moment. Plus, middle schoolers do need to hear things at least 7 times before they remember having heard them. “Screenagers” was a great continuation of this lesson.


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