The kids that don’t make the news.

SLMS Peer Mentors

Sometimes, when I was a middle school teacher, or a junior high principal,  when I was out and about, and not around other educators, people would ask me what I did for work.  So I’d say I was a middle school teacher or a junior high principal.  Pretty much got the same reaction every time.  A step back. An, “Oh geez, really?  Wow, that must be rough.  Teenagers. Ugh.”

It never made sense to me.  Still doesn’t.  The picture in this blogpost is from last night.  Our middle school team presented to our school board information around their Peer Mentor program.  Featured these kids.  Gen ed kids.  Special ed kids.  Working together.  Helping each other. Caring for each other.  Laughing with each other.

When I was a junior high principal, we had the Life Skills program, with kids from 12-21, with profound special needs.  In 12 years as principal, not once did I ever see a teenager be anything other than kind and loving toward the Life Skills kids. Not once.  Everytime, in every situation, they showed their better angels.  Their best angels.

These are the kids that don’t make the news.  And they represent the vast, vast majority of kids in our schools everyday.

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 36 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 5 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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