Middle schoolers can be endlessly entertaining. I know they can be maddening at times, and I'm sure they can drive their parents crazy, but if you just let them be and allow yourself to listen to them from time to time, you will thoroughly enjoy them. I promise. I've been on enough long bus rides with 36 screaming seventh graders to know this is true.
Of course, it could just be that after all these years as a middle school teacher, I've finally cracked. But let's not go there...yet.
Let's take today for example. One of the boys called me over to his desk, I assumed, to ask a grammar question as that was what we were working on at the time.
I was wrong.
"Miss McMillan, do you have a cousin named Phillip?"
It took a moment for my brain to process the fact that this question had nothing to do with adverbs, and then...
"Have you ever heard of the show 'Duck Dynasty'?"
Is this some new game middle schoolers have invented? Keep the teacher spinning from one weird question to the next?
Yes, I've heard of it.
"There's a Phillip McMillan on Duck Dynasty."
"Yeah. He's crazy!"
Wait...is that why you thought he was related to me?!"
A great deal of sputtering occurred as the last part of our conversation sank in for him. I just walked away.
One of the boys in my class likes to sing random songs throughout the day. I mean really random songs. Today's playlist included, "Viva Las Vegas," "A Whole New World," and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen."
Like I said...random.
So I decided to add my own version of random to the mix. I grabbed my iPod, plugged it into the classroom speakers, and...
"Let it go, let it go...!"
Wow, the wildly different reactions was rather intense. There was loud singing, even louder begging ("No, Miss McMillan, just NO!"), and even one young man who stuck tissues in his ears.
Just another day in middle school.