Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 06 2011

Besides being miniature, 6th graders are also…

I did not get run out of town by tiny sixth graders today, but it’s also hilariously clear that these aren’t eighth graders anymore.

*When all the kids were entering school and finding their homerooms, a girl walked up to me bawling. Between sobs, she managed to get out a, “Can *gasp* you *gasp* help *gasp* me?!” When I asked her what was wrong, she wailed, “I just don’t know where to go!” Oh dear. I made her my helper later and she beamed with joy for the rest of the day.

Eighth graders don’t cry like that or someone beats the shit out of them.

*The kids had homework for Advisory today, which was to bring home various forms and get them signed. One girl called me over because she wanted me to make sure she had all her paperwork in order. She said, “Otherwise, I’m going to have nightmares all night long. I’m going to dream that I come in without signatures and you guys are going to lock me in a cold dark place!”

She said this with all earnestness and sincerity. I had to “Awwwww honey” her and nicely explain that we would never do that.

With eighth graders, I would think of a nearby cold dark place and tell them that was actually where they would be sent. Probably that weird trap door under my old desk.

* I had multiple kids come in without paper today, so I asked the class if anyone had some extra loose-leaf sheets. (I, of course, was wildly unprepared for this.) Not only did multiple kids raise their hands, but I got more volunteers than there was demand for extra paper. They all scrambled to be the first to get paper out of their backpacks, and then couldn’t get their hands high enough in the air for me to use theirs. While I walked over to take from a couple kids, there were others leaning out of their chairs to pass the pages directly to needy neighbors. I ended up with too many loose-leaf sheets in my hands and not enough students who needed them. Ridiculous.

Eighth graders are protective over how much they have and how much it costs to replace. They would tell you to screw off and bring your own supplies.

One Response

  1. I have only ever taught 10th, 11th and 12th graders and I have have an incoming class of 9th graders next year, so I understand your wariness of the tiny. Glad the first day with 6th grade went well!

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