I’ll wait for you to swallow your bile. Those two words can cause a visceral reaction in many people. Middle school is an awkward time. Full of changes, shifting roles and hierarchy — and kids trying to navigate it all. It is the strangest time in school with some kids looking as though they should still be in diapers and others with five o’clock shadows in fifth period. So much change in such a short period of time.
As I’ve talked with kids having a tough time during the middle school years, I’ve frequently said, “Everyone wants to be audaciously average.” That is, we want to strive to be squarely in the middle of the pack, not developing too early, but certainly not too late.
But what about kids that aren’t average or have trouble fitting in? Typically such individuals are shunned for their differences, but occasionally, joyfully, others don’t shame them for their differences, but support and encourage them.
Olivet Middle School, this is dedicated to you.