Posted by Jarrod Jones on 9/6/2019 10:00:00 AM

Audio Blog

Wow! Has this year gotten off to a blazing start or what? 

You know, I recently watched a movie in my very sparingly spare time. Shazam! I remember watching this when it was a television show as a kid back in the ’70s, however, I don’t remember much about it, nevertheless, what I finally realized is that the superhero is not named Shazam. OMG! It took me forty-plus years to come to this understanding? His name is Captain Marvel? Or is Captain Marvel a she? 

I just don’t get comics. My two grown sons have tried and tried for years to get me to understand what’s going on in that world. DC Comics. Marvel. I don’t know the difference. It’s like my boys trying to get me to understand WWE and that other wrestling federation. I’m totally lost. 

I now know how some seventh graders feel when they first step into Hixson Middle School. Totally lost. But I’m also totally amazed at how fast they learn the ropes. Over the past three weeks, it seems like we have been moving lightning quick as we have progressed through our first unit. Sort of like Shazam….or Captain Marvel...or whatever his name is. Come to think of it, Freedy Freeman had a difficult time giving him a name as well in the movie. I think he even once called him Captain Sparklefingers. Either way, he was fast as a lightning bolt. And when you’re moving that fast at school, one could easily get lost. 

As a driver of our classroom activities, I need to know when to keep my foot on the gas to challenge students, but I have to also know when to pump the brakes. I have to be able to discern or simply ask who is lost or who does not understand? I need to look at the data and determine who’s just not getting it and try something different, work with small groups, or give some students extra support. Because the bottom line is not how quickly or how slowly you learn, it’s about how well and how much you learn. 

And just like the movie Shazam! when we learn together, we all win. Shazam divided his powers among his foster brothers and sisters and they were able to defeat the villain. And so far this school year, I’ve seen some students working diligently and selflessly with others as we have been reading our novel, Refugee. I’ve seen students share the wealth and the knowledge to make sure everyone is getting it and not feeling lost. This shows a great deal of community and working together, two important cornerstones in any classroom and middle school.