If I have learned one thing since I started teaching, it is this. Middle School never goes as planned.
It just doesn’t.
It never will. Never.
In light of this information I have two choices: continue to try to make them all conform to my way of doing things and end up pulling all my hair out or roll with the punches and embrace the chaos.
Embracing the chaos can take many different forms.
Music is usually involved. Songs. Whistling. Drumming. Tapping. Off key. On key. The real lyrics. Our own version of the lyrics. Sometimes even more than one song at at a time. More is better, right?
We regularly test to make sure gravity is still working. This can be done by pushing your pencil case over the edge of your desk, falling out of your chair, or dropping all of your textbooks that you thought were necessary to carry around for the entire day.
Compliment takes on a very loose meaning. “Wow! Your hair! It looks different…” and “You aren’t old…for a teacher anyway” are both positive statements. At least, I choose to look at them that way.
Laughter…why we are laughing is a good question. It doesn’t really matter. “The giggles” is highly, highly contagious.
Tape. Glue. Paint. Whiteout. Saving our eraser shavings…basically anything that would make a mess. We stop worrying about making messes. Instead, we just practice cleaning them up.
This means we don’t talk to the boys. Wait…we DO talk to the boys. Wait…we talk about the boys? Wait…never mind. We’ll just stay in our own little group and hope the boys come to us.
In the end, the chaos is fun. Everybody is learning and growing. We are figuring out how to work together. It is messy, but there is joy in the messiness.
Just in case you are wondering…gravity hasn’t failed us yet.