The funny thing about 8th grade

22 Mar

I am teaching 8th grade this week. Sixth graders at my school have gone to Outdoor School and, for several reasons, I opted not to go and swapped places with an 8th grade Humanities teacher who was eager to go. I haven’t taught grade eight since the 1988-89 school year – my first year of teaching.

I was mostly surprised by how quietly they work. I think it is partly due to their maturity, but mostly, I think it is because they are allowed to work and listen to music. Most students have headphones in and follow the classroom rule of phones face down, one earbud in, one out. I know some of them are on sites other than those they are supposed to be, but they all switch back and work again once I swing past to observe and answer questions. They are all getting done what needs to be done, even of they take occasional detours.

They were working so quietly and so focused yesterday that I sat at my desk a little more, scoring some papers. Suddenly the silence of the room was broken by “Macho Man” by The Village People. The room erupted in laughter. I made a joke about an 80’s flashback. The red-faced student apologized. And then everyone went right back to work.

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9 Responses to “The funny thing about 8th grade”

  1. vicki s March 22, 2018 at 5:37 am #

    What a great story! Hearing Macho Man blast through the room definitely would liven things up. It’s fun to have these kind of stories to take home and laugh about. It sounds like the whole day was pretty great. Hope you have a repeat today!

  2. franmcveigh March 22, 2018 at 5:38 am #

    Isn’t it nice to check in with students of a different age group to see how they are doing. Loved this peek into an 8th grade classroom! Thanks!

  3. Stacey Shubitz March 22, 2018 at 7:20 am #

    I like that earbud rule about one earbud in and one out so you can hear your teacher. That’s brilliant. Seems like a great compromise.

  4. Mirielle Strasser March 22, 2018 at 8:28 am #

    Sounds like you got the better end of that deal! Overnight camp always sounds dreadful to me, but our teachers here love it!!!

  5. J Koval March 22, 2018 at 10:16 am #

    Macho Man…too funny! 🙂 I like the earbud rule too…and the one about having their phones face down. Being able to watch the videos that go along with the music would be too tempting, for sure. ~JudyK

  6. elsie March 22, 2018 at 11:20 am #

    It’s nice to see how the students change in those two years. I imagine it would be harder to go down than go up. A nice change of pace for you this week.

  7. terierrol March 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm #

    It sounds like you got the better deal.

  8. arjeha March 22, 2018 at 7:01 pm #

    Sounds like your are enjoying the change in grade. It is amazing how students change over the course of a few years. I have been out of teaching for five years now so I don’t know if schools around here allow students to listen while working. I do like that one earbud rule.

  9. Brian Rozinsky March 22, 2018 at 8:28 pm #

    Here’s to the perspective that comes with occasional change! Enjoy the ride 🙂

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