Note: We’ve launched a new series of “confessions” where we ask certain professionals a quick set of questions and keep their responses anonymous so that they can tell the complete truth. If you’d like to participate, please email [email protected]. We promise to keep you anonymous.
You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to middle school. One time a guy asked me to slow dance so I went out on the dance floor, but it was just a mean joke and I stood out there alone for almost all of “Back at One” by Brian McKnight.
But this article isn’t about how much I hated middle school. This article is about the people who choose to return to middle school and teach pubescent humans about math, science and not being mean to the chubby girl by making her think you’re going to dance with her when you’re really not.
I talked to one local middle school teacher about hating certain students, sexting and teacher hookups. Here are his confessions:
What’s the most annoying thing students do?
Thinking that they’re clever or secretive about what they’re doing wrong.
I know that you didn’t turn in your homework so there is no need to lie about it.
If you are staring down at your lap and giggling, I know you have your phone out.
Do you play favorites? Do you have students you hate?
My first year of teaching I honestly tried to love every student and give everyone a fair chance.
The longer that I have taught I’ve realized how unrealistic loving everyone is.
Imagine asking someone to do something every day. You work on ways to make it easier for them, to help them understand it, and they still don’t do it. How long would it take before you hate that person?
When you first started, what’s the thing that most surprised you about middle schoolers?
I was (happily) surprised by the fact that most middle schoolers are genuinely excited about learning.
The way our current system is set-up, many students lose this love for learning by the time they reach high school. But middle school students? They are so freaking excited to learn about ancient Greece and decimal points. I love it.
What about teachers being too flirty with students?
That’s a tricky situation. When I was first out of college I was a 22-year-old teaching 17 and 18-year-old students. It was odd to try to establish myself as an authority figure, and there were definitely some inappropriate comments made in my direction. I tried my best to ignore them and move forward with instruction.
I don’t see my students as being attractive and never really have, partially because I understand the consequences of even being borderline flirty with a student.
Speaking of, do teachers hookup with each other?
Haha, yes, they certainly do. Teachers love happy hour. A lot of drinks with the opposite sex and a general sense of camaraderie and anything can happen.
The weirdest part is that most teachers call each other by their last name… “Mr. Jones and I hooked up last night,” or “Mrs. Johnson and I went home together.” These are both weird texts to receive from your teacher friends.
In your opinion, are kids getting smarter or dumber?
Kids are becoming better at using new technology but falling short in so many other categories.
Reading comprehension and writing are at an all-time low because attention spans are dangerously short.
Is bullying getting better or worse? Let’s just say middle school was not great for me.
The addition of cyber bullying has made things way worse. Kids say terrible things to each other behind the protection of their phones or computers.
I do not tolerate bullying in my classroom… but if you poll every teacher I guarantee that they would say the same thing.
Bullying will happen, and it’s a damn shame that it does.
Related Agenda story: CMS has launched an anonymous platform for students to report bullying
Any other confessions?
We have a program in our school that we use to keep track of what students are doing on their laptops during class. Earlier this year I caught two students sexting each other during class (if you could even call it that).
To save them both from embarrassment, I politely reminded the entire class that I can see everything that they do on their Chromebooks. The context of these “sexts” were laughable. The boy sent something along the lines of “so do u like d**k?” and the girl replied with “lol ya.” Riveting stuff.