Losing the "Twinkle"

Getting ready for Kindergarten
This week my oldest son starts kindergarten and my youngest is starting preschool. My wife and I have spent the summer talking it up and getting them pumped for school. However, none of that was needed. They are both beyond excited for school. They literally cannot wait to start going to school. Their backpacks have been loaded with supplies and sitting at the ready for weeks. My kindergartner has been reading picture books about kindergarten every night all summer while my youngest keeps asking me when he can go to “my classroom”. The pure joy and excitement they have is just simply amazing.

As I reflected on their feelings it made me wonder about my own students that I teach. I teach in a junior high and I see the faces of the kids as they come in that first day. They are excited to see their friends or get started with intramurals or sports. However, I don’t see that “twinkle” in their eye like I see with my sons. When thinking about this I have a few questions that I am not sure I have any answers for.

When does the twinkle go away? When do students stop wanting to go to school? When does that excitement and joy for school fade? At what point is school something to get through in order to get back to summer break?

While those questions are important I think there is a more important one to consider. Why do kids lose that feeling? Are schools to blame for this loss of love for school? What are teachers doing to combat the loss of love for schooling?

As I sit in my class I wonder how many of my students were excited about coming back to school after their summer. I hope that those who were not excited soon rediscover that feeling. My goal is to make learning relevant, fun, and worth their time on a daily basis. What are you doing in your classroom or school to excite students and rejuvenate their passion and love of school? 
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