Death By LatteI am sensing a disturbance in the force.


What are typical behaviors in the spring–nervousness, anxiety, an atmosphere of expectation and bedlam, we are experiencing here and now: my 8th grade students act like it’s spring. It’s not. Now, granted we are having one of the warmest winters in years. And everyone is jumping up out of their holes like Whack-A-Moles.

But what is making me grumpy is they are actually resentful and disgruntled when I try to keep the lid on them, using the mallet of my brilliant teaching to hit them over the head and get them to learn, LEARN! WHAM! NOW!

But they are not cooperating.

They are challenging, cantankerous, contrary, edgy, and larcenous. Yes, I have noticed all year they, in general, behave like little magpies and steal whatever they think is “shiny, pretty.” When I opened a drawer and found an empty highlighter packet, with all three highlighters taken and nothing left but the over-produced packaging, I felt more than a “tsk tsk.” I paid for those highlighters, and yet someone felt that the lines between what’s mine and theirs were fuzzy.

I am not happy.

But I don’t want to play martyr either. This is one of those days when I realize that I need to stop and reflect myself. What made me lose my temper? Apparently asking them to work quietly a  few times on their final projects (due tomorrow) was not a reasonable request. But they’re not able to tell me what IS a reasonable request. They are only 14 after all. I must put myself in their shoes and figure out what I would consider reasonable. Hmmmm….

The larceny doesn’t stop with my highlighters. (And it’s not just about highlighters; that’s just the latest example.) There was a Red Bull incident. Let’s not go into details. But it’s not good.

And when I tried to explain to a particular demographic of students why drinking highly caffeinated/sugary drinks is not healthy for a young growing human, I get flak.

And I’m tired of flak.

But…deeeeeeeeeep breath…….in…….out…………out……let me set my Iced Venti Americano with cream and shots over ice down, and think about this: middle school students are very much like toddlers that can get their own juice. All I can do at this point is try to keep my own blood pressure down.

And maybe choose water next time instead.

2 thoughts on “Caffeinated.

  1. I say no more juice! I don’t mind if they get their own, but I object to their taking “mine” – and by extension, taking from all the other students in the class.
    Worse, they take the tools, and still won’t finish the project!!
    Let’s face it, we all try and avoid difficult work. Faced with a group of 30 peers, all doing the same thing, it’s easy to assume it’s the right thing to do. You are the sturgeon, alone in the rushing water, wondering where your friends are. It’s cold and lonely.


    1. Mmmmmm…..caviar….

      Oh, uh? Oh, sorry – went to my happy place for awhile.

      The highlighters are especially poignant because there is nothing they are doing now that requires any sort of highlight, annotation, spotlight, or notice. They each have a laptop, too. And there are six baskets of markers, highlighters, etc., on the counter for them.

      I suspect most of this happens when I have a guest teacher, and because of projects I’m doing at the district level, this happens fairly frequently for my little sneak-thieves. Perchance, rat traps in the drawers? Fake doggie doo doo or plastic vomit?

      And if I could cut off their juice supply, I would. It’s a gateway drug. 🙂

      Loved your comment – thank you!


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