Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Subbing in Seventh Grade

Call me crazy but I think that seventh graders are great fun.

On Monday morning I had the opportunity (created by a teacher's sick baby boy--note: he is the cutest baby boy I know) to substitute in a 7th grade Language Arts/ Social Studies class. I hope those kids are not reading this because I am going to confess right here and now that they are hilarious. It took all of my will power to keep from laughing out loud for the entire hour.

The discussion of "In Flanders Field" was amazing. We went from deep thoughts to the most inane comments without batting an eye. Is this a pro-war or an anti-war poem? Someone argued that it might be both because it was, as stated in stanza two, written by the dead. The dead get a little confused at times, you know.

Vocabulary words were equally productive. Somehow we managed to leave behind the words for a discussion of the importance of parents. I think it came from trying to decide whether indulgent or strict parents were better. These 12 and 13 year olds are at exactly the right age to begin thinking that parents are really not that necessary to them any more. The suggestion came that somehow every person be given $20,000 upon reaching the ripe old age of 13 and be sent out to make a fortune. A wiser voice thought that might be too little for someone setting out in the world--no one mentioned the lack of education--and opted for $1,000,000 at age 13. "But what would that do to inflation?" someone asked. "You're right," came the reply. "You couldn't even afford a loaf of bread then." And so it went.

Do not be offended, wonderful seventh graders, but it strikes me that these conversations are not that far from those of my eager kindergarten students. You ramble off on unexpected paths with the same ease and disregard for where the teacher might have hoped you would go. Whether you are 5 or wishing you were 15, the trip is half the fun.

I don't want anyone to get sick again, but I am willing to sub with the seventh grade again any time. It was a real treat.

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