It’s late August and once again it’s butterfly season in Maine. No, not the season for any of the more than 55 species of butterflies that inhabit our great state, but the ones that we feel in our stomach as another school year approaches. These are the butterflies that keep us up at night wondering about those first days of school. Will I have a good class? Will the students like me? Am I prepared? Did I remember to zip up my fly?
Teaching middle school is a great challenge as each fall enthusiastic, energetic, eager, and well-rested budding adolescents arrive to begin a new school year. The students come to us in all shapes and sizes with a myriad of abilities and needs. They are simple, yet complex. Just when we think we know our students, we find out there is so much more to learn about them. Middle school students are truly a wonderful enigma. As middle school educators, we need to understand what it means to be simple, yet complex. We are lucky to work with them but we have an incredible task that takes great skill, great patience, and great humor.
We should expect to bring to our students a firm and professional commitment to their educational, intellectual, and social-emotional well being that will ensure their growth and development toward becoming positive members of our schools and our communities. Teaching is an obligation we have all made. We have all dedicated ourselves to being the best teachers we can be. I am confident we will all succeed in this endeavor. There is so much to be accomplished in all of our schools but there is no better place where it can happen than in our middle schools.
As my mother-in-law, who was a great teacher herself, always said, “If you don’t feel a little nervous before the school year starts, it’s time to retire.” This year, I begin my 38th year in education, and thankfully, I guess I’m ready as I’m still feeling the butterflies.
I wish you all a successful school year. May it be filled with great learning, great patience, and great laughter.
Principal, Middle School of the Kennebunks
President, Maine Association for Middle Level Education
MAMLE and NELMS partner each year to recognize scholar-leaders from across the state. Participating schools choose two eight graders to honor. The criteria for this award include:
- Demonstrates Academic Achievement
- Provides service to classmates and school
- Is a positive role model for peers
- Demonstrates integrity, honesty, self-discipline, and courage
Below are images from the 2014 Scholar-Leader banquet held at the Augusta Civic Center on May 15. All of the smiles indicate a enjoyable time was had by all!
MAMLE Board members Lindsay Mahoney and Cathi Wood welcome our honorees.
The Medway Middle School Jazz Band under the direction of Mrs. Page entertained guests as they found their tables.
Our national anthem was sung a cappella by 4 young women from Medway, and Senator Susan Collins congratulated the honorees via video.
There were 66 proud and happy families in attendance!
Here are some of the 2014 Scholar Leaders! Congratulations to all!
We hope to see you next year!