Ah, spring. The season of hormones and drama in middle school. Just in time for end of year testing, too.
My sixth graders are weepy. Sometimes they don't even know why. My seventh graders are wired or angry. They don't know why either. The eighth graders are either so sleepy they seem inert, or so excited about moving on to high school that they can't contain themselves. Sometimes both at the same time. They can't tell me why.
They're all doing all of this for the first time. They have no idea what's going on. It's confusing. It's wild. I've been here for years, watching, and even I don't understand this energy, this strange movement in the middle school symphony we call May.
Couple this with where teachers are at this time of year--stretched thin, burnt out, worn out, exhausted, stressed out, frustrated, frazzled. It can be a very difficult combination. Tempers flare easily in May. Even though it has rained a lot, you should assume the kindling is dry and tread very lightly in this forest. The slightest spark and we've got a conflagration on our hands.
Maybe it's not a coincidence that May Day when written as one word (mayday!mayday!) is a cry for help.