Wednesday, November 18, 2009


7th grade. I was covering a "core" class, meaning that I had the same group of students for two periods. One period was devoted to English, the other to history.

The English period didn't go well. I was late to class (long story), so they were already wound up. Then the assignment was something that wound them up even further. I was so ready for the history period and a video.

I spent a good five minutes talking to the class about appropriate behavior during the video. Mostly it was this advice: "Don't talk." That's when I noticed that a boy in the corner of the room was bare chested.

The boy had removed his shirt.

Suddenly, the whole class was watching him. One girl turned her head and blocked her eyes. She couldn't look. The rest of the class watched as he got his shirt back on, found it was on the wrong way round, and twisted it around his body. That's when the class told him the shirt was on backwards.

I wasn't sure how to react. I think my mouth was hanging open. My face must have said it all. They knew I wasn't amused.

But the thing to do with middle schoolers is to get them on to the next thing (such an incident can ruin the rest of the period if I'm not careful). I had to get the video started. Luckily, I had no more unclothing issues after that.

What is it with 7th grade boys? This is not the first time such a thing has occurred in class. At least this time it wasn't his pants.

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