It wasn’t until I had nearly completed my elementary education degree that I had the bright idea of adding a middle school minor to my teaching degree. Honestly, my game plan was to add it to make myself a little more marketable in the competitive world of teaching jobs. (That’s what they told us.) What was a few more classes at that point anyway? I could also honestly tell you that I never truly intended to teach middle school because I had my heart set on 2nd- 4th grade. But, then I did some field experience in a middle school and FELL IN LOVE! After that, I was actually looking for a middle school teaching job. So, when the 5th grade job was offered to me under the pretense that I would be moving to the middle school the following year, I thought PERFECT!
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard, “You teach middle school? You are a saint! I couldn’t do that!” Okay, so maybe its a good thing I don’t have a dollar for every time I’ve heard that because maybe I would have went on permanent vacation. I usually respond with, “Well, honestly, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between 8th grade and kindergarten.” Don’t believe me? I have been writing down all the strange things that I have had to say the past 2 weeks.
- Put the chair back on the floor please.
- Who is making animal noises?
- If you had an accident in your pants, you may excuse yourself to the bathroom.
- Stop crying.
- The vacuum is not a toy.
- Glue belongs on the paper.
- Please don’t staple the tape.
- Please don’t put that in your mouth.
- Seriously, we don’t puke on own friends.
- It is really not appropriate to say tongue-punch and fart-box in the same conversation. or ever. but definitely not ever together.
- Please. Stop crying.
- You can not touch each other there.
- Fingers out of your nose please. I don’t want to find treasures while grading.
- That cricket isn’t here to learn. You are. Please get rid of it.
- Who punched you?!
See, not much different than elementary! I have a great pride in my classroom management, but there are just some things you can not anticipate with kids, no matter what age they are.
I love my middle school students. They are an endless fuel to a fire of laughter and smiles and frustration. There are days when my sides are sore from laughing, just as there are days that I cry on the way home. There is just something so great about the way that they think about the world that they live in. Are they dramatic? Of course! Are they self-centered? Sometimes. Are they swayed by the popular majority? Often. But you have to embrace and understand those things about them. They are amazing young people and it is easy to see the bright futures and change that they will create in the world. I am so proud to be able to call myself their teacher.
Middle schoolers are also the kings and queens of RANDOMLAND! A student drew this totem pole on their paper with their rankings of middle school teachers. While I generally disapprove of that, I thought it was so cute! A totem pole? What the heck? Little weirdos. 🙂 AND….Gotcha! Proof that you do, in fact, like your teachers!