Sunday, October 2, 2011

And THEN... She said BRAS!!!!

This post was written in 2011, when I was teaching middle school.  I have now been moved to a 4th and 5th grade building and while I am really looking forward to the age group, it's episodes like this that I will miss.  Because middle school is such a bizarre time in everyone's lives and teachers are forced to say things we never thought we'd say in a million years.  And they never stop giving us plenty of blog fodder.


I know 4th and 5th grade will supply me with endless stories as well, but they will be, well, so much more tame...

I think I'm missing 12 year olds already.

Cue gut busting laughter, giggling and major averting of eyes.

I realize the fashion trend these days is to reveal as much of the shoulder/arm/chest/neck area as possible, but in the middle school, we try to keep it under wraps.  Actually, if I could just give them all wraps, my life would be so much easier.

And, if I can't wear it, ain't nobody wearin' it.

We have a district dress code which has a LOT of lengthy explanations of the basic:  no boobs, no butts, no problem.  It goes on and on about tank tops, tube tops, pants at the natural waist, etc.  I am sure exactly one parent has read the thing from top to bottom.  In fact, I am probably the only teacher who has read the whole thing.

So, when we got back to school this year, and I learned that the Flashdance look (wide top on the shirt, allowing one side to fall down the shoulder, revealing the shoulder and a bra strap) had returned from 1985, I had to investigate to make sure that this was sort of like the revealing tank tops that are forbidden.  And indeed, shoulder exposure is too much.

Add to that the wifebeater tank top (worn by girls) with the bra straps that are showing in the front and back.  And the tank tops that are super skinny spaghetti straps, so they wear two or three of them to try to make them look like wide enough straps.  We use a 2-3 finger rule, meaning that your straps need to be at least 2 fingers wide, I usually say 3.  I have a million tank tops that are not school appropriate, so again, if Mademoiselle Sparkling can't wear them, neither should you.

And don't even get me started on the length of shorts and skirts.

I am the dress code nazi these days.  If you don't have a sweatshirt or other shirt to cover those straps then you go to the nurse and pick out one of the glorious shirts that has been donated to the school.  The kiss of death in 7th grade.

Recently, by the third class of the day, I had had enough bra straps, bare shoulders and boobs, so I figured I would address EVERYONE because I was sure the nurse was running out of shirts.  This was a 7th grade class.  This whole 7th grade class loves me.  They did last year too.  I am a comedian, in their eyes.  Class is just one big party.  I don't know why I 'click' so nicely with this group, but it's so much fun.

So, it kind of went like this.

"Ok, I'm going to say this to all of you so there is no surprise when I tell you next time.  There is a dress code here at school, and basically, your tank tops have to be 3 fingers wide, like this ( demonstrate, realizing my own shirt better be wide enough!) your bottoms much be at least as long as your fingers can reach and no off the shoulder shirts.  I know, it's very fashionable, but we don't need to see your shoulders."

"Oh, and boys, that's for you too, just in case you get any ideas."

Snicker, smirk, gee that Mlle. Sparkling is pretty funny.

So, I'm ready, I get my book out and start turning to the page and for some reason I mumble "because I'm tired of looking at underwear."  Again the snickers and smiles.

A boy says "UNDERWEAR?  We don't see any UNDERWEAR?  Whose UNDERWEAR?" This is a boy so clueless that if I were standing there in only my very own underwear, he would never notice.

"Yes, Mark, UNDERWEAR, I'm seeing UNDERWEAR!"

Again, he's looking around for underwear.

I catch a few glances from some of the more with-it girls.

"BRAS, Mark, I'm tired of seeing BRA STRAPS.  They are underwear, you know."

They did NOT know what to do!  Mlle. Sparkling just said BRAS!!  OUT LOUD!!

I don't know if you remember middle school, but as a middle school student, you can say any dirty word in the world to your friends and it's highly acceptable, but when an adult, and worse A TEACHER says a dirty word like BRAS?????

Well, you just about wet your pants.

And then to frost the cake, I too smirked, looked down at my book like I was very busy and said quietly "OMG she just said BRAS, she's lost her mind, she just said BRAS out loud in a FRENCH class!"

I think I heard organs actually bursting with the laughs they were trying to suppress.  And no one could look at anyone else for the rest of class.

Why would I ever want to leave the middle school????

Linking here:


  1. And what if you had asked them to turn to page 69? It would have all been over.

  2. And what if you had asked them to turn to page 69? It would have been over.

  3. This is so hilarious I had to read it out loud to my dd who is 21 and yes we both remember middle school! I think those who willingly teach that age group will be given a special reward in heaven LOL!

  4. I read this and had to laugh! Karima

  5. Wish I had you in 7th grade! No wonder you click! I'm terrified of current fashion. My mom doesn't know how lucky she was that grunge was in when I was a teenager, so I wore dude's jeans and flannel shirts.

  6. I started out teaching middle school, too! And yes, BRAS would have sent them over.the.edge.

    Hilarious post! Thanks for linking up with #ShowYourWork!

  7. This cracked me up! I was so annoyed at some of the eighth graders in our school during last year's "fun day" (we have 1-8 schools, and on "fun day" the big kids rotate the little ones through activities. In reality, it isn't a fun day. At all.) Anyway, by the end of the year, all of the 8th graders are pairing off, and one girl had these teeny-teeny shorts that her boyfriend kept picking out of her butt. I was ready to have a seizure! Dress code isn't enforced in our school, so there really wasn't much I could do except separate them. Again and again.

  8. I just resigned from teaching high school this year! Every single day, I had to tell a girl that wearing a hot pink giraffe printed bra (or similar) underneath a white shirt isn't appropraite or in dress code. I was the only person enforcing the dress code, too. I don't know why these girls wanted to dress like this. I actually had to tell them they looked trashy! Ahhhh.....

  9. I so enjoyed this! Hilarious!! (And I could totally relate). It's wonderful that you're able to connect with your seventh graders like that. I taught in an 8-12 school, and eighth graders were the toughest for me.

    I can't get over all the skimpy-ness that has taken over with kids these days. I'm amazed at what they wear, and shocked that their parents allow it.

  10. Too funny. I had a girl in skin-tight jeans and a spaghetti-strap top tell me she hates it when girls "dress all hoochy." Yeah...well.

  11. That is so hilarious!! I have a teenage daughter and she dresses fine, but I cannot stand some of the stuff I see her peers going to school in!! Thanks for linking up with us at LOBS!!


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