Saturday, September 6, 2014

Why Elementary School Is More Fun

We are officially BTS now and after such a gorgeous summer with very little humidity and day after day of awesome weather, we were welcomed back with 80+ degree days and humidity at about 500%.  Not a great combo in an old school with little air circulation and windows that only open a little bit.

I was soaked for 4 days.  Like being swatted all day with a sopping wet rag.

And for 2 of those days, I had to deal with kids who were also pretty damp.

It might have been my best back to school yet, despite the yucky weather!

And already, I'm reminded why 4th and 5th grade are much more fun than middle school:

1.  Kids actually got excited when I showed them my new toy that I made.  If they have a birthday when they have French, they tell me and I put this on their chair.  They already started calculating which day their birthday will fall on and expressed HUGE dismay if they realized they don't have French that day. 

Middle schoolers would have been like psssshhhhhhhhhhht whatEVER.  I'm never telling you when my birthday is!

2.  Kids enjoy sitting on the floor in front of you.  And they can keep their hands in their laps.  I'm getting some awesome foam tiles to sit on, thanks to but they were totally willing to sit on the bare floor.

Middle schoolers would not have sat on the floor, with or without foam mats.  Those who did would have been poking and tickling each other and God knows what else.

3.  A boy came up to me and asked me to put an elastic back in his hair.  He has new cornrows and one of the rubber bands fell out and I guess he assumed I could put it back in for him.  As I was doing my best attempt and rewrapping a cornrow, a kid asked "what are you doing?" and I replied "I'm doing his hair" like that was an every day thing.

Middle schoolers- ew I wouldn't even want a middle schooler that close to me, let alone touching the hair myself.

4.  We did a cooperative team building activity all morning and kids actually stood in circles, held hands and did what we asked.  They laughed, they cheered, they yelled, they had a blast.  And so did the adults.

Middle schoolers would have complained of cooties, sweaty palms, accused people of liking or not liking each other and there would have been NO cooperation.  I sweat a little imagining how frustrating that activity would have been with my previous middle school students!

5.  Kids actually ask for help, ask where teachers' rooms are and take directions from any adult within a 2 foot radius.

Middle schoolers pretend they know where they are going and end up in the wrong place but refuse to ask for help and then get mad when someone helps them anyway.

And the best reason to be where I am now?  They aren't self conscious and will blurt out whatever I tell them to say and not think too much about how silly they might sound or how they might look.  This might be the best reward for working with 9-11 year olds.

I don't know how I kept my sanity for the 17 years I taught middle school students.  I loved doing it, but if you asked me to do it again, I'm already starting to think I'd have to say no.....  Ask me if I'd like to go back when I'm knee deep in 4th graders who don't know how a 2 pocket folder works so they can write their names in the right place....

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