I like to get my sixth grade class started using a program called Moby Max. Great program, the full suite is free on Edmodo, and is serves to review things I know we won’t get to. We usually rotate between language, vocabulary, and math.  Other days, I like to open with a writing prompt, also submitted through Edmodo. If you aren’t familiar with Edmodo, it’s a great way to manage middle schoolers and the assignments we do.  Facebook-like interface, easy to set up and use, along with a grade book that allows me to see what’s been turned in and what hasn’t.

But, I digress.

Today, we did a little Moby Max, but then I wrote this sentence on the board:

“How will I make today grand?”


I had the students open an email, addressing it to someone (classmate, friend, parent, family member, etc), then carbon copy it to me. We’ve practice email etiquette all year long, so at this point, we are starting to figure out how to do these things. I told them to write a sentence to answer this question. Pretty easy, right?  I get the typical answers: smile, help others, laugh, don’t do stupid things, tell jokes. You get the point. Then I get this one: I will not have a grand day.


We try to be positive, we try to offer up how things can be different, how things can change for the better, but sometimes, the reality is we don’t know what these kids go home to. All we can do is give them our love, our support, and our hope.  In the end, sometimes we have to understand that our time with them is pretty short, and that in order to give themselves something grand, they have to want it first. For this child, someday, I hope they want it, but today wasn’t the day.

My take away: we just keep trying. Head up, eyes forward, and bring the positive smile tomorrow. This student doesn’t give me much, and I pull to get that out. And that’s ok. I know I drive them nuts by constantly greeting them, smiling, giving them encouragement, and that’s ok. As someone wiser than I said: They won’t care what you know unless they know you care.

And I do.

Tomorrow, a new day. A new day to keep getting better at what we do. A new day to rub a little more positive energy off on that student.

Could I ask for anything better? 🙂