Friday, September 13, 2013

Are You Smarter Than a Middle Schooler?

The school bell is about to ring.  Everyone is looking around nervously, hoping they are in the correct place.  Papers clutched in sweaty hands are checked once again so that each person can compare the class schedule to the numbers on the doors. Finally the buzzer sounds and people shuffle in to find a seat - hopefully near a friend - while the teacher starts going over a wealth of pertinent information.

Back To School Night at the middle school has begun.

Parents are supposed to follow their child's regular class schedule, going to each classroom for a condensed introduction and a review of the policies for that period.  Ironically the only people who look confident and assured are the volunteer students who are helping to direct lost parents to the proper classrooms.

I suspect that the scene looked very similar when my friends were in middle school themselves.  You have the focused ones who walk briskly to the next classroom, never looking up at others passing by.  There are the people who linger in the quad and talk loudly instead of worrying about the next bell.  Still others struggle to get where they need to be - whether it's because they are lost or running behind.  My husband was stressing me out as we approached a classroom and the bell rang while we were outside.  He's muttering, "We're tardy!  Not in our seats yet!  I hope they don't lock the door before we sneak in!"  Dude, settle down.  You won't get a detention, trust me.

The teachers would introduce themselves and the name of the class, and inevitably one parent would stand up, blushing, and leave the room in search of the actual place they needed to be.  I took particular enjoyment in that.  On the other hand, there was the dad who waited for a good 12 minutes while the teacher went over a detailed handout, only to finally get up, walk to the front of the class, and ask for a copy since he hadn't received one.  While the teacher turned to retrieve the page for him he smiled at the class and did a Forrest Gump wave.  Seriously?  It took you that long to realize you were missing something that everyone around you was reading?

I left the school feeling somewhat dazed.  My head spun with information, rules, expectations, and a dizzying glimpse into the requirements my son would be expected to achieve this year.  If I had to go back and redo middle school... yeah, I don't think I'd make it.  They're completing detailed science experiments and lab write-ups, learning computer programming, typing long essays on Google Docs, and figuring out math problems that can stump the teachers.  My friend was incredulous that her 6th grade son had a year-long syllabus for his class.  I'm pretty sure I didn't know what the word "syllabus" meant until my second quarter of college.  (I am now convinced that my grades would have been much better had I figured it out the first quarter).

I sure hope my son understands the concepts because what's being taught has moved beyond my comprehension already.  Are you smarter than a 7th grader?  No.  Obviously not.

Meanwhile my 4th grader is coming home and using new words he's learning in class.  "I am optimistic that my inquisitive and loquacious friends will not be punished for the pandemonium they are creating but I'm sure that they will be elated if we can reconcile the situation in a prudent fashion."  Huh?  Let's just go back to telegram communication.

Sons smart -(STOP)-  Mom confused -(STOP)-  Use small words and short sentences -(STOP)-

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

No comments:

Post a Comment