I never thought I could say this, but seventh graders can be darn cute some time. I am always telling Jason about my students and saying, “oh, so-and-so . . . he is so cute!” Because, really, they are. They say the funniest things, they still have a childness to them that high schoolers don’t, and some of them are just so darn cute I could pinch their cheeks.
For example, I have one student who, whenever he doesn’t like something, says “Weak!” But he has this adorable little voice and this shoulder length hair that doesn’t match up, so him saying this just adds to his adorableness. He is also a bit emo and loves 70s and 80s rock, and in combination with the above, you just can’t beat that.
Another example of cuteness is a girl in the same class. Now, this class often gets me frustrated, and I have to use my strict Mrs. Higgins persona way too often for my taste with them. However, one day I was in a great mood for some reason, so I said to the class at the start, “I’m in a good mood, so let’s keep it that way!” This girl then goes, “Mrs. Higgins, you look pretty today!” to which I responded, “Makayla, are you just trying to keep me in a good mood?” About fifteen minutes later, they were getting on my nerves, so I said to them, “My good mood is going down,” to which Makayla replied, “But you still look pretty!”
There are many, many days when I think I am not cut out for seventh grade. Then there are days when I think I could not give up these middle schoolers ever. Jason told me, “if you ever end up teaching high school, you’ll never be able to call your kids cute, because that would just be weird.” And it’s true. I can’t really call high schoolers “cute.” Not in the same, little-kid way that I can seventh graders. Middle school is a strange age: some days I cannot handle their immaturity, other days they impress me with their good behavior, and some days I savor their youth because it means we can play fun games that wouldn’t fly with older students.
I have always said that middle school is a challenging time: everyone is trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in. But I got to admit, the same can be said for the teachers. I am also trying to figure out who I am as a middle school teacher and where I fit in with the students and my co-workers. I guess you could say I have more in common with my pre-teens than I thought before.
And they’re just so gosh-darn cute!