Tomorrow begins my 25th year at Laguna Middle School. It was Laguna Junior High when I started. That ain’t the only thing that’s changed around here.

We used to have the oldest staff in the district. Now it’s all young uns and noobs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld used to say. In fact, yours truly excepted, we are a much less crabby staff than when I started. So much enthusiasm and noobness! It brings a tear to the eye of this jaded old veteran. Seven new staff this year, and everybody is just so excited!

I fought upper management for years just to get teacher web pages and access to a (relatively) unfiltered internet. Now we take it for granted that the kids all have Chromebooks, teachers all have a web presence of some kind and everybody and his mom has a new educational app they want to foist on you. Our head of curriculum and instruction wouldn’t have a clue what to do without the internet.

Clickers are now old school.

If I hear the word data one more time I will lose it.

As recently as eight years ago, we had five sections of band, five sections of choir, and five sections of drama. We now have two sections of band, one section of choir, and fewer than 20 kids per quarter taking drama on the elective wheel.

I am on my sixth principal here. A good year this year, and he would move to #1 in the rankings. He has finally learned that food at meetings is essential. Plus, he is just so “up” all the time. I am impressed. It really is “all good.”

On a sad note, one of our fave veterans, Mrs. G, died a week after school got out. She had been teaching at our district for 51 years and at our school for 45.


But as the French saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” ANd nowhere is that more true than junior high… excuse me, middle school.

Despite the name change, we are still 7th/8th  grade only, and always will be. NO sixth graders here in the foreseeable future.

Despite the age change, the vibe around here is still very Disneyland. Everybody just looooves it here.

The kids are the same. Rambunctious, hilarious, frustrating puppies who just want an alpha to show them the way.

This first day is shaping up to be a bit different though. We will have over 100 more kids than we did last year. The eclipse will be occurring right while we are taking 7th graders on a tour of the school…

“Don’t look up at the sun, use the glasses or the…”

“Woah! That’s cool… and it don’t hurt at all to look up!”


Also the main road into the school will have several lanes closed for construction tomorrow.

Just another first day.

PS: I started noobing around on Instagram this summer. Check out what I did on my summer vacation: @mrcinslo.