Middle school = BRUTAL HONESTY

The thing about middle school students is that they are brutally honest.  Wondering if your hair looks weird?  Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.  Concerned that your outfit looks too strange?  Most 13-year-olds will HAPPILY inform you of exactly what they think.  There is no sugar coating.  There is no concern for your feelings, just unbridled, realistic advice and commentary.

Sometimes, it’s adorable.  For example, a student was once confiding in me about how she felt unpopular, lonely and was teased.  As I was empathizing with her and encouraging her, she said, “Oh Miss E, I bet you were never, ever uncool or made fun of.”  Clearly, she hasn’t seen this post.

Other times, students are straight up MEAN.  But, the good thing is that they don’t usually throw a big fit if you get a little sassy with them.  One student I have this year takes great delight in telling me she’s bored, or that my lessons are boring, or that I never teach them anything COOL.  Luckily, she’s a sassy one, so she doesn’t get too offended when I say things like, “Does this look like a face that cares?” or when I feign sorrow and tell her I’ll change all of my lesson plans because GOD FORBID SHE IS BORED IN HER ENGLISH CLASS.

One of the things that’s hardest to get used to is the commentary on my makeup, hair, outfit, shoes, etc.  I was wearing less makeup than normal the other day because my eyeliner had broken, and a student came in and took one look at me and said, “You’re tired today, huh?  Or you just didn’t want to wear makeup?”

Anyways, one of my all-time best, most hilarious, honesty stories comes courtesy one of my favorite students.  We were discussing the population of students that I work with.  Gangs are a struggle, and many of my kids live in rough neighborhoods.  I then asked my students why there weren’t any “emo kids” at the school.  For those of you unfamiliar with the traditional emo kid:


Anyways, when I asked her, my student looked at me like I was INSANE.  And then?  She answered:

“Miss E?  We got REAL SHIT TO WORRY ABOUT.  I don’t care if my dad didn’t hug me enough when I was a kid, or that some boy I liked in 5th grade moved away.  I worry about whether or not I’m gonna make it to school, yo!  Forget those emo kids!”

And then, I laughed my face off for about 5 hours.

Love them, hate them, or fear them, middle schoolers can be pretty darn insightful.



Filed under life with titch

10 responses to “Middle school = BRUTAL HONESTY

  1. Word, yo.

    And by that I mean, “you look tired today.”

  2. Ari

    I feel the same way about Emo kids, yo!

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that comment from the girl. We got real shit to worry about. Love it.

  4. my mom used to say the same thing about her middle schoolers! but trust me, a daughter in her twenties can be just as brutally honest when it comes to the way her mother looks!!! love this post.


  5. LOVE. Kids are awesome – too bad we sometimes forget to give them enough credit.

    I’ll let you know if your hair looks weird, too. Ok?

  6. I love this post. I’m in the process of going back to school for early childhood education, but the teenage years would be so much fun, too. What an amazing opportunity for you to develop these relationships!

  7. OMG. That comment was so great. A little sad but still totally awesome. She seems great, just by that comment.

  8. (While Gangsters Paradise plays in the back)

    You are the vixen Michelle Pfeiffer played in Dangerous Minds…it’s sad but true. There are more concerns that the adolescents of today have to face. It would be much better if they could only worry about if the Emo kids hair straighteners are unplugged before they leave the house; or if they have enough skinny jeans clean…Middle school was horrifying for me and I lived in a town where cow-tipping actually happened (and I’m not talking about slapping a cows ass and handing her a Fin for the jug of milk)…
    What a relief it is to know that they have a ray of sunshine and sass every day.

  9. Amy

    You cannot have thin skin and teach at the same time, that’s for sure. My favorite comment from a student who was absolutely sincere and concerned when he asked this, “Ms. Lundeberg, did something happen when you were young to cause your dwarfism?”. This stopped me in my tracks. The kid next to him elbowed him and whispered, “Dude, you just called the teacher a dwarf.”

  10. I am telling you, middle school is WHERE IT’S AT. I had so much fun when I worked at a middle school! I should have started a stand-up act when I did because I always had SO MUCH material! I had John laughing so hard he cried just telling him about my day EVERY NIGHT!

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