I ❤️love working with middle schoolers. Every day is different. There’s a lot of 😂laughter. A few 😢tears. So many questions- not just about school subjects, but also about life. One thing that I can count on every hour of every day is this: someone passing ☠️judgment on someone else. 😳You need thick skin to work with middle schoolers. I’ve had kids ☠️judge me behind my back, which always gets back to me via another kid who thinks I need to know. They aren’t afraid to ☠️judge me right to my face, either. My hair. Clothes. Age. When I wear my glasses. When I don’t wear my glasses. You name it- they notice it.
When I play a video to accompany a lesson in class, they jump on the narrator or actors. 😳They comment on accents or teeth. 😳They take notice of the set design or the wardrobe. 😳When they’re in the halls at school, everything from another person’s height to the holes- or lack of holes- in jeans can be ☠️judged- sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. Ask any hairstylist. They can tell you the haircut that every middle school boy wants. ✅Did you know that shoes are a big deal? Creasing the toes of particular brands is so bad that you can buy “crease protectors” or just walk flat-footed to keep the toes smooth. Who would have guessed that one?🤷🏻♀️
My students will tell you that I have a saying when the ☠️judgment starts raining down. They’ll say, “I know, Mrs. Schramm. Don’t be judgy.” ☺️I like to shift their thinking to a more 😍positive light. Different is okay. 👍🏻We don’t have to like or dislike the same things. 👍🏻Try something new. 👍🏻Have an open mind. 👍🏻Don’t be ☠️judgy.
I understand why my middle schoolers are ☠️judgy. They are learning and growing. Changes are confusing. 💯They’re trying to figure out the world and their places in it. ☠️Judging others is their way of questioning what is acceptable or not.
I have less patience when adults are ☠️judgy. Don’t get me wrong- I am not innocent in this. 😞Even though I try my best to understand people and situations, I have those moments when ☠️judgment creeps in, too. I try to turn those moments around quickly by learning about the very thing I judged. I become irritated when ☠️judgment pairs with 💡knowledge, and it stays in judgment. 😬Just like with my teens, adult ☠️judgment is often the result of curiosity. Once we learn the why behind behaviors or appearances, our ☠️judgment should stop. 🚫We should understand. Notice that I didn’t say agree. Just understand.🤗
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ~Maya Angelou
What if…we’re not judgy? I think there is far too much of this happening in society today. 😢Social media doesn’t help, but it’s not always on a screen. It’s also happening right in front of us. It’s not our place to ☠️judge. I believe that we know better. Let’s do better.💖