I happen to know a lot about Middle Schoolers, children ages 12-14.
I am lucky to interact with them every day for sometimes 12 hours in a day. I hear all of the time, oh I'm so sorry you have to deal with pubescent, moody, and unpredictable children all day. My response is always, I never ever have a dull moment EVER. Keeps me on my toes and using my brain. What is awesome about Middle Schoolers? 1 -they are opinionated and lot of times their opinions are hilarious - I can't wait to share more with you as they come up. 2- They also make a ton of mistakes and this is my favorite part of my job - I teach them more about life then I do about educating their brain. I truly believe that with common sense, you can learn much more out of books and appreciate the lessons you learn in the classroom with more retention and accuracy. 3- I work with a high poverty and diverse population who call woman "mom" even if you aren't their real mother. At first I thought this was rude, if you have ever seen "Freedom Writers" you will know what I mean. It is a sign that they respect you and actually care what you have to say. I pride myself on the fact they care enough about my opinions and perspective to call me Mom. Today, I got some beautiful flowers from one of my students who regularly calls me mom because it is Mother's Day. For me, even though I don't have children of my own YET, all of my students are treated as if they are my very OWN child. It has not failed me yet in my journey as an educator.
Here is a list of things I have watched, read, or done to stay the "COOL" teacher:
- Vampire Diaries
- Twilight Books & Movies
- Jersey Shore - I know I can't believe Middle Schoolers watch this either good learning moments though
- Walking Dead - yes another I probably wouldn't let my children watch
- Put colored streaks in my hair - I told my mentees last year that if they got on A/B honor roll all of them, I would dye sections of my hair pink - I happily did it when they got these fabulous grades!!
- Used terms like "Cabs are here", "Cray, Cray", "Swag", "Wicked", "Sick" - sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing it
- Driven them home
- Let them follow me on Instagram and Twitter - which they think is SOOO cool that I am not a dinosaur
- Planned insanely fun after-school events - dances, movies, trips, etc.
- Entertain them with my horrible dance moves, their favorite quote is "Miss M you are so white!" hahahahahaha
So what is the way to a Middle Schoolers Heart you might ask?
Give them food - they are always hungry and once their cravings are statisfied, listen to them. They LOVE to talk, have great stories, and insight on this life!
Until next time...