As the school year is coming to a close, I like to have my 8th grade students look back on their time in elementary and middle school. Each year the “I Remember” poems are so precious. The stage in life my students are at give them a unique ability to capture the essence of childhood. They are just mature enough to reflect on the past with some insight and just young enough to still remember exactly how it felt to be a kid. They are moving from middle school to high school, and they are expected to start to think about their futures. This is why I pair the “I Remember” poems with a bucket list activity.
I had a lot of fun listening to each student’s top 5 list items at the end of class today. Some students wanted to travel, learn a language, get married, buy a house, or go to a particular college. I also had students that dreamed of meeting famous people or becoming famous athletes themselves. My favorite was the young man that is a very serious musician. His goal was “to get really good at sax.” We ALL heard him wrong. After a moment, the realization of what we thought he had said hit him. With red cheeks he tried to clarify, but this is a middle school classroom… there was no recovering from that one!
I realized that although we had heard him wrong, his goal wouldn’t be a bad one for an adult in a committed relationship. This got me thinking about my own bucket list. Even though I had given this assignment in the past, I did not have a written list. I decided to join my thirteen and fourteen year old students in creating one.
I have accomplished many of the things my 8th grade self would have written, but there are many things I still want to do. I have experienced things in life i would never have wished for, and I have also been blessed beyond measure. I love that it is never too late to dream new dreams and set new goals. Life is a marvelous and surprising thing.
What is on your bucket list?