Slice of Life Tuesday: Just a regular middle school day…

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The day begins with one “regular” breakup and one “rumored” break up.

There are tears and shrieks in the hallway…and the clock reads 7:32.

Just a regular middle school day.

Two students negotiate trading a lunch for a stash of Airheads and Sour Patch kids,

three others attach flowing beards and use mascara to enhance their brows.

These three are mine, playing Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet,

in our Civil War Battle cast presentations.

Two others have decided to make a fashion statement by exchanging just one shoe each.

At lunch, a pack of seventh graders huddle together on my reading rug

and offer their counsel: here’s how to to say “I would never dream of going on a date with you”

but in a kind way –

“You don’t want to wreck his life, right, even though he’s kinda ewwww?“.

“I am so TIRED of all this drama!”

says the Drama Queen of the year.

There is a thunderstorm in the afternoon, and visiting eighth graders gather at the window,

in their faces I see their sixth grade selves – full of wonder and delight in the smallest of things.

Two former  bff’s pass each other with stony faces,

just as a gaggle of boys jostle and wrestle with joyous whoops of laughter.

I notice that two of my students are now holding hands,

the romance, it seems, has progressed.

It is raining again when the bell rings,

and through my rain streaked window

I see kids playing hopscotch in rain puddles.

Just a regular middle school day…


27 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Just a regular middle school day…

  1. i love how you ended with where you began and how all the scenes you describe really paint a picture of middle school life. Such drama! Middle school teachers and kindergarten teachers get a special place in Heaven, in my opinion!

  2. I often say that I’d love to teach Middle School to have the chance to focus on one content area and not teach every subject, as elementary school teachers do. Then I remember that if I did, I’d have to teach middle schoolers and I change my mind. They seem too big, too full of themselves to me. Your poem reminds me that they are just big kids, having fun, finding their way in a world full of drama! Such a great poem!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a lovely post! As a first grade teacher, I loved experiencing your middle school day and especially appreciate how your understanding of your students and affection for them shines through. They are lucky to have you!

  4. Middle School is a busy place! Our school is k-6, and the grade 5 & 6s are so different from the 5s and 6s I taught in a grade 5/6 Upper Elementary school. They don’t know other kids their age are falling “in love” and hand holding. They’ll know by the end of grade 7, which will be at the high school for them.

  5. Thanks for a peak inside middle school life. Your writing allowed me to be right there with you and your kiddos. What a great field trip it was!

  6. This is poetic. You have captured the middle schooler. We have 6th grade in elementary school. I disagree with this. I think they need to move them into middle school. I’ve decided that 6th grade is my upper limit. My ideal grade is 3rd and 4th.

  7. Yep! Just yep! You have even captured the differences between sixth graders and eighth graders! The line about bff’s passing each other with stony faces makes me sad.

  8. Love your regular middle school day boiled down with power in this racing poem…racing to the finish line with just the right amount of time to freeze moments…

    and through my rain streaked window

    I see kids playing hopscotch in rain puddles.

    Just a regular middle school day…


  9. This Is the story of your classroom that the public does not here. Add in the last few days if the year and curriculum. Your pulse on your students is amazing and a gift. Thanks for allowing us a glimmer into your day.

  10. Ah, the middle school day! Yes, I know it well. I connect with the “drama queen” — she’s always the one tired of the drama of others. He He Thanks for sharing your day. Now have a great summer!

  11. Oh – you captured perfectly why I love them so…stuck right in the middle, aren’t they? I will never grow tired of their enthusiasm for life and their moment by moment teeter tottering from child to teen. It keeps typical days brimming with fun.

  12. Perfect from the adult vie, but would they agree with the scenarios you’ve captured? So full of life, the kids and your rendition. Very enjoyable reading!

  13. I love the way you captured the “storms” of the middle years. This so so clearly where you belong as you write not only as an observer but also as one who understands.

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