MS Head's Blog
In the Middle of It All
Middle School Musings by Trevor O’Driscoll, Bancroft's Head of Middle School
Most weeks, MS Head Trevor O’Driscoll writes a short note to parents and faculty about middle school, education, parenting, and other topics relevant to our community. We share these Middle School Musings here for the benefit and enjoyment of all who are interested. Read recent entries, browse the archives, and delight in Mr. O’Driscoll’s take on our Middle School and the amazing people who inhabit it.
The sound was faint at first and barely noticeable. But the recurring trill pattern eventually began burrowing into my brain. It seemed to be coming from the next room. The pinging was familiar enough and would have made perfect sense – if only I was below sea in a submarine. Then it hit me. The ping was the lonely and desperate call initiated via the Find My iPad app. And thus began my favorite moment from the first two weeks of school.
Before I had time to get up and further explore the epicenter of the sound, I heard the not so subtle approach of three eighth grade boys outside my door.
“Wait! Let’s just check in with Mr. O in case he knows,” I heard one of them suggest. The boys burst into my office. A new student had lost his backpack. The ensuing (and thus far fruitless) search had lasted for quite some time and caused him to miss the bus. A stressful situation for any person was exponentially more nerve-wracking for an adolescent on Day 3 at a brand new school. Luckily for the newbie, two veteran students took up the cause and out of the common mission was formed a triumvirate. Now I was being asked for help not from a singular and overwhelmed rookie, but a team of problem solvers who seemed to be actually enjoying the inconvenience.
Moments later we found the backpack that contained the iPad that was making the ping that first caught my ear. The fact that the backpack was actually in study hall right where the student had last left it did not inhibit a round of exuberant high fives. Friendships were made and solidified. Never has a lost backpack been such a blessing. (Of course the missed bus meant mom had to make an extra trip to school, but for the purposes of this story, that detail makes the cutting room floor.)
There were plenty of amazing things happening on campus in the first two weeks of school. Some kids learned they could be pushed beyond and abandon their perceived limits, especially when it came to hiking mountains in New Hampshire. Others realized they are ready for more of a challenge and are eager to chase it. A few may have shifted a bit from established friendships and started cultivating new ones. Several learned they are ready to leave a tiny bit of their younger selves behind and grow into a leader. I learned that when you lose something, especially a backpack, you sometimes gain so much more.
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