One of my favorite places is hanging out at my desk in between class periods. My middle school students are coming and going, sharing their news with me and with each other. The air is filled with the smells of middle school: old lunches, sweat, Axe body spray, and dry erase markers. Each and every day contains moments that are entertaining, sad, aggravating, and happy, but most of all are filled with plenty of laughter.
If you were a fly on the wall, this is what you would have heard today before my 6th period class.
Kid: Mrs. Forte, please tell me we’re not doing any work today. Why do we have to do work every single day in this class? None of the other teachers make us work.
Me: Who are your teachers? Can I email them to confirm this?
Kid: It’s almost summer. Can we just watch a movie?
Girl 1: How old do you think Mrs. Forte is? I think she’s like 30.
Girl 2: Oh. My. Gosh. You are so stupid. She has like four kids so she’s old. Like 40 or something.
Boy 1: What’s your high score on Flappy Bird?
Boy 2: I don’t have one. My phone got taken away again for NO reason.
Kid 1: Can the red light in my mouse blind me?
Kid 1: Are you sure? I’m going to sue if it does.
Sad Guy: Mrs. Forte, my life is over.
Me: What’s wrong?
Sad Guy: I told the friend of the girl I like that I like her and now things are weird. She won’t talk to me and she’s kind of ignoring me. *sigh* I’m so depressed. Do you think her friend did tell her?
Me: Yes. Girls always tell. I’m sorry you’re sad.
Sad Guy: What should I dooooooooo???
Me: Well, it’s almost summer now. How about if you just let this rest over the break and see what develops in the fall?
Sad Guy: But I don’t waaaaannntttt to. Why doesn’t she like me? My life sucks.
Singing Girl: Girl comes in singing song from Frozen…
Hipster: Oh my gosh. You like Frozen? It is SO ridiculous. I’m tired of Disney’s formula princesses — primarily white, impossibly — literally impossibly proportioned girls with boyfriends who just happen to be white also!
Singing Girl: No longer singing Frozen, this girl sneaks away…
Me: Hey, could you PLEASE cover up??? (After noticing some bountiful cleavage making an appearance.)
Girl Who Likes to Push the Limits: Ha ha, Mrs. Forte. Okay.
Self Conscious Boy: Mrs. Forte, my mom says I should wear makeup so my face doesn’t look so bad.
Me: What’s wrong with your face? It looks pretty good to me.
Self Conscious Boy: I have zits all over it. She says I should cover them up with that brown stuff even though I’m a guy.
Me: You are fine. Your face looks great. You’re a middle schooler; this is normal.
Self Conscious Boy: But my skin isn’t flawless like hers.
Teachers may not earn the highest salaries, but I don’t care because I wouldn’t trade this daily entertainment for anything!