Thursday, March 2, 2017

You Teach Middle School?!?!

"You teach MIDDLE SCHOOL?!?!"

I love this reaction from people. When I meet someone new and we get to the, "What do you do?" part of the conversation, my answer seems to incite yelps and cringes from people. They say, with horrified expressions, "MIDDLE SCHOOL? Really?" and they often follow it up with a blessing or a prayer.

The joke is on them. Middle school is the BEST. I feel like it's the best-kept secret in education. Middle schoolers are quirky and funny and sassy. They are creative and interesting and in search of themselves. Every single day something hilarious just have to be paying attention.

I was out sick for a couple of days last week. My sixth graders had to find something from their notebook to publish. Here's what I came back to...

Come on...that's funny! When I take the status of the class, one student varies her response method. A few weeks ago she answered every day using a British accent and now she says, "Yo!" every other word. In that same class, I can't say anything that resembles a song lyric or else the entire class will spontaneously break into song. (I fall into the trap with "Don't Stop Believing" more often than you'd think!)

Middle school students are kind and goofy and inquisitive and they are figuring out who they are. I get the opportunity to witness that. They allow me to be part of their journey. There's nothing better than that. So when you ask me, "You teach MIDDLE SCHOOL?!?!" I will smile and say, "Of course I do."

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  1. That is a funny sign, and I can see my kids doing that, too.
    We're still in elementary school but middle schoolers, so it's a strange mix of both worlds ..

  2. I teach 5th grade, and I feel like I get a little bit of all of those things too. They always make me laugh; it's important to laugh when you're a teacher! Good story!

  3. I agree 100%. Middle schoolers are so funny. Maybe I just have an immature sense of humor, but I love when we make each other laugh. Because we laugh together, we can also have those hard conversations. A great slice today.

  4. I love this, Michelle! What a great sign.
    And following our conversation last Friday about the differences between the different grades of middle school, this post makes me think I would enjoy middle schoolers. Thanks for the chuckle today!

  5. I know you don't believe this, but it takes a special person to teach middle school. You have to be witty, sarcastic, compassionate, sharp, and so much more. Of course, you're all of those things, which is why you're a natural!

  6. I agree, and loved my middle schoolers, too, but not everyone did, that's for sure. You should have seen the people on the planes when we boarded for a trip! And the students were wonderful, polite & quiet & respectful of other travelers. I don't see all adults acting that way. You & I would have a lot of fun doing "middle school" I'm sure! Great post, Michelle.

  7. Ah yes! Your middle schoolers sound a lot like ninth graders and I LOVE teaching ninth grade. I haven't taught middle school, but from all I hear, it is an exciting venture! I love how you circle back at the end to your beginning. Good writing, Michelle-- and that fart sign cracked me up!

  8. Of course you do! The closest I get is 6th grade and that's close enough for me. I love that you enjoy them so much. It really takes a special person. You and Tara Smith are my favorite middle school teachers.

  9. Middle school kids are the best...they will tell you like it is!

  10. I loved my middle schoolers, so much that I still head back once a week to run an after school book club! They are the best!


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