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Corps Member Monday: Nickelback’s Resounding Popularity with Middle Schoolers

October 28, 2013

by Noel Thompson, Corps Member proudly serving on the New Schools for Baton Rouge Entergy Louisiana Team at Broadmoor Middle School

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A beautiful deconstruction of the heart vying for control of a middle schooler’s brain. The same battle we, as adults, face in the worst of times or the best of times. How are we to live? Are we to use our cognitive knowledge to force decisions that will be ultimately painful down the winding, confusing path of life, or are we to through away our brain to embrace the power of emotion and.….Oh? This is just a depiction of the Tell-Tale Heart from an 8th grader?….errr

Working with children is a very, very energy-demanding field. I don’t think I fully appreciated the attention from my teachers or parents when I was a middle schooler, but it’s hard to really appreciate anything when you’re a middle schooler just based on the nuclear battles that are happening within your body. Sympathy is therefore, I think, the best way to break through with my kids. Like any middle school, every day is a struggle with how the students are going to prioritize their time. In the eyes of the teachers and administration, the need is to get all this information they need to become successful individuals in a knowledge-based society. From the perspective of the kids, however, it’s how best to handle the fact that they’re going through their 4th breakup in 3 weeks and they were really serious this time and they’ll never get over the fact that this relationship didn’t last and please leave me alone and stop offering me candy Mr. Noel I don’t feel like working on math today and a pat on the back or being your lunch buddy isn’t going to make anything better.

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In other words, this is the reason NickelBack is still kickin’.

Every week seems to be another roller-coaster on the trip towards shaping these students into well-rounded individuals. One week, I’ll have everything under control and my students will be paying attention in the push-ins and pull-outs so they can be rewarded with a pat on the back or a phone-call home, and the next week I’ll be pulling my hair out with the number of behavior chats I have to have with students.

We are starting some pretty cool initiatives at the school I’m working at though. In addition to making it a better environment that the kids get to look forward to, I think it boosts the morale of the corps members.  For instance, we’re taking advantage of the fact that our school stage is haunted (right? what are the odds that I’d find out during Halloween week?)

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and I found out that one of my friends from UNC got into City Year Philly for the 2014-2015 corps year. So we get to reach out across the network with things like this:

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And as a member of the Baton Rouge community, I get to see things like this.

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 I don’t really have any profound way to end this…..sooooooooo here’s a photo from the fair where we did some team bonding.

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