The Voices Inside My Teacher Brain

Sometimes when I tell people that I am a middle school teacher, they give me these horrified looks and say something like, “Are you INSANE?”  And I usually just laugh and say something like, “I know, I know.  But it’s easier to teach them than to raise them…” or something generic like that.


Coming back after a two-week winter break, though, I’ve been asking myself that same question this week.  ARE YOU INSANE?!?!

My dad used to say that raising girls was like being pecked to death slowly by ducks.  I’m beginning to think teaching middle schoolers is the same principle.  On a normal day, this is the running commentary of a middle school teacher:

Can anyone hear me?

Why do I hear voices?

Did someone just throw something?

Haven’t I already taught this?

Why do I still hear voices

Didn’t I just say that

Did I just say that?

Have I already said that?

Who called my name?

Can you not hear me?

Why is everyone staring at me?

Did you call my name?


Why am I the only one doing anything?

Is anyone listening to me?

Can anyone hear me?

What day is it?

Haven’t we already talked about this?

Who said my name?



Now, you tell me:  Are middle school teachers not just a teensy, tiny bit insane?????

Yeah, I thought so, too.


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14 Thoughts to “The Voices Inside My Teacher Brain”

  1. Katie

    I teach 4 year olds, pre-kindergarteners and I get the same, “Oh my gosh. I could never do that!!” a lot! But I LOVE this age! And I could NEVER do middle schoolers!!! Agggh! Thank goodness as teachers we all have our special ninche in education.

  2. It’s not any better teaching high school. After my day today, I’m so happy to know it’s not just me.

    1. Melissa

      Yes! High School is the same way, if not worse sometimes because, as the seniors like to tell me, they’re 18 and adults now so they should be able to do whatever they want and act however they want. At least most high schoolers have learned how to sit in a chair.

  3. Amber

    Elementary is no better! I teach 4th and I say “We are at a zero noise level” what feels like a million times a day.

  4. I am homeschooling my 7 and 5 year old boys. I could have written most of this post. Except for the part about ducks….

  5. Ten years in the classroom. One in pre-k. Nine in 4th. I’ve said all of those things, but middle school kids are a special kind of obnoxious. My hat is off to you.

  6. Sharon

    I teach middle school as well and I have been thinking these exact same thoughts this week!!! I feel like I say the the same thing at least a thousand times a day and it drives me crazy, but I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else.

  7. I love middle schoolers – but of course, I never actually taught them. Still, at least they don’t pee their pants or barf on your shoes.

    Hang in there, and start crossing of the days until spring break.

    1. Amanda Clark

      Oh but sometimes they do both 🙂

  8. Laurie

    Uh, as the mother of a middle school girl, I can in fact verify that they are a little nutso even at home. Your commentary with them at school pretty much mimics my every day life haha. The moments when she is sweet and fun kind of make up for her obnoxiousness though – kinda 😉

  9. I am a K-8 music teacher…and I echo your sentiments. It’s so hard to come back from Christmas break!

  10. Hilary

    I spent eight years teaching 7th grade and just moved to a new district where I teach 8th. I miss 7th grade so much! One year makes all the difference. I remind myself every day, “Well, at least it’s not 6th grade.” I did one year of that and it was torture. I think I need a little more time to let the 8th graders grow on me. Whenever the 6th grader teacher asks if we might want to loop, I laugh and tell her “Not a chance!” In middle school, there is never a dull moment. In all honesty, I wouldn’t want to teach anything else.

  11. Kelsey

    I am a Prekindergarten teacher. I relate to feeling insane after Christmas break. I just remind myself I loved this job before Christmas, it will get better! On the other hand, I do think you are a brave soul to teach middle school. I never could!!!

  12. Kristin


    I feel your pain.

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