{solsc} 21/31 #sol18 8th Grade Boys

While I began my career teaching seventh and eighth graders, I ended teaching high schoolers. Mostly juniors and seniors. Trust me. They grow up in the years between middle school and graduation.

But there are lots of things I forgot about middle school-- eighth-grade boys in particular. I notice them yesterday when I subbed for a teacher who taught both middle school and high school students.

  1. The difference in sizes! In one class I had a student who was at least six foot. Standing next to him most of the class period was a boy the same age who would be stretching to hit five foot.
  2. They are loud. Enough said. But so are high school boys. The seventh-grade boys who followed them, however, were not so loud.
  3. They touch everything. Even each other. They are always punching and poking each other. They get into each other's things. They touch everything!!!!
  4. They don't think they have to listen to you. But like a naughty puppy, if you speak sternly (don't yell), they settle down.
  5. They do not know how to flirt with girls. I tried to tell one that going through a girl's pencil bag and complaining how organized it was, wasn't the way to get her to like you.
  6. They are all too cool for school. 
I'm going back to sub for the same teacher today. I bet I'll be able to edit this post after school!


  1. Had to laugh at the naughty puppy comment. How true. What fun observations! Wonder what else will stand out today.

  2. I have a post like this planned for later this week. I traded places with an 8th grade teacher for 4 days. She is with my students at outdoor school. The difference is huge.

  3. Oh my! I also taught juniors and seniors and not sure I could handle a group of 8th graders! I'm hosting a group of them in one of my college classes next week--love that their middle school brings them on a college visit. Should be interesting to see how they interact with my college kids. I expect lots of shy staring at the floor and giggles!

  4. When we had our first year of mentoring, we had 8th & 9th graders. I totally understand your observations. Glad we're back to 3rd graders now.

  5. I taught 7th and 8th grade two years. It was an other worldly experience. Yes, boys like to touch each other at that age. Try not to over-exert yourself while subbing. I don't know how you do it.

  6. Coming from an 8th grade teacher, how brave you are to sub for them. They are a challenge in their own classes but a sub? Good thing you know your way around any classroom.
    Bonnie K

  7. I remember being terrified of 8th grade boys - when I was in 8th grade and again when i was substituting! You've given a lot of insight.

  8. I'm laughing reading your post tonight. Yes, those middle school students are a diverse and unpredictable lot!

  9. Deb,

    Tell me more about it.

    The zits, the innocence, the need to be independent and cool yet requiring reassurance and care.

    the 8th grade boys (and girls) are awesome, ya?

    Did I tell you my Awesome just registered for 8th grade this week? He had to drop off band because of schedule conflict but is hopeful that he will pick it up again in 9th grade.

    Best wishes.



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