Slice of Life March Challenge #5: Sixth grade speak…translation needed

The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers
The sixth grade hallway is a world unto itself: three sixth grade classes open into it, and it includes a ramp, the boys’ and girls’ room and a water fountain. At one end is the stairwell down to the cafeteria. Any amount of action can and does take place along the length of this hallway on any given day and it is a sixth grader’s dream hallway for that reason:

Exactly in the middle of this lively spot are the doors to my classroom:
And, when the door is open, which it always is during passing times and before and after school, my desk sits exactly opposite the door:
Needless to say, I hear everything.  That is not to say that I understand everything I hear. Sixth graders often speak a language known only to fellow sixth graders, and the conversations I often overhear are entirely incomprehensible to me…take this exchange before the opening bell this morning:
Lockers slam open and one student begins:
“Why’d you say I said that? That was so mean!”
“I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to say that you said that…you never told me that!”
“I didn’t have to tell you not to say anything…you should have known that! Now every one’s saying that I said that and I hate it!”
“But you did say that!”
“Only to you…I only said it to you…not to everyone else!”
“Then why didn’tja just say that in the first place…JEEZ!”
Lockers slam shut
“How’m I supposed to know what to say about what you said…”
“‘ ’cause…’cause I said that!”
“You NEVER said that…”
“Did TOO!”
at that point the bell rang and the hallway was flooded with students.  I couldn’t hear any more of this conversation, but I don’t tthink it would have made any difference any how! 

17 thoughts on “Slice of Life March Challenge #5: Sixth grade speak…translation needed

  1. I think that she said that he said that her friend of a friend said that we are all totally confused too. 🙂 Ah, overheard conversations . . . I like that we can make up our own stories!

  2. I like all of the snippets of overheard conversations you included. Those are gems!Thanks for the images as well. I love seeing what other schools & classrooms look like. (Other people like looking at houses, I like looking at schools. What does that say about me?)

  3. Reminds me of who's on first, too funny! I'm with Stacey, I love seeing classrooms. What a great brain poster on your door. Captured conversations are so much fun to infer the true context. That was a way to start your day with a smile.

  4. Ah…this brings memories of my middle school teaching days. I love that age…and the conversation probably takes place in other schools as well. So funny and so true. You bring middle school life to life.

  5. Love the school! Certain schools just give off great vibes, and this is one of them! 🙂 And that story is too funny…such little things seem so major in middle school. I tutored in a local middle school and I admire you for teaching there. I'm better at high school because they really are in their own worlds in middle school! Still, they're full of life and you bring that to life. Thanks!

  6. Oh, my! I think I'd almost rather teach 6th grade than 5th. At least 6th graders know what they are. At this point in the year, 5th graders are neither fish nor fowl (although I've got quite a few boys who are trying on foul for size, and the girls are as flighty as birds sometimes).

  7. I love getting to know kids this way. You forget how human and silly and fallible and…..little….they are. I taught eighth grade for ten years. They look like men and women, but they're still like toddlers inside.

  8. Not only a translation, but a score keeper! How can they remember what the "that" is in this exchange? I think they take this middle school speak home and expect their parents to follow along. No wonder they lose patience. At some point someone has to use more than pronouns!

  9. I love, love, love the way you lead us into your world. So effective. I am with Stacey, but I love looking at houses too. I always get to know the students who have lockers right by my classroom door, whether I have them in class or not!

  10. That sounds just like the block hallway alright! Sometimes I'm glad that I'm slightly removed from there, but then I miss some of these hilarious conversations! I can only imagine what they were talking about.

  11. Holy cow! Sounds like you have a front row seat on all the action! Love the way you captured this conversation with photos and dialogue! Perfect!

  12. I love that checkerboard tile in the hallway and is that a radiator on the wall? How fun to listen in on the conversations from the hall. I was sharing a slice with my students today and looking at the comments. I mentioned that I enjoyed reading your slices because you teach sixth grade too! They are amazed that I feel connected to people I've never met in person.

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