While subbing yesterday I had a class of 8th graders at the end of the day. But this was a MONDAY. And this wasn't just any Monday it was the dreaded "first-day-of-testing" Monday. And they had been testing ALL.DAY.LONG.
So for about twenty minutes I did something: I told them to put on their sweatshirts and we faced the [very] chilly April air and we trudged over to the elementary playground.
And something miraculous happened.
These 8th graders, though they may argue with you on this point, are more KIDS than TEENS. And at that playground in the icy breeze they let themselves BE KIDS.
The snips and snails and puppy dog tails were out in full force, throwing a football and jumping from swings, flailing about in the air. The sugar and spices and everything nice-s were swapping gum and stories, and teeter-tottering.
For a moment in time, worries were suspended in the air as they pumped their legs. For a moment in time, popularity was less important than keeping tire chips out of shoes. For a moment in time, they let themselves be the kids that they are still supposed to be.