So far teaching fifth grade isn’t all that different from teaching fourth grade. Some are *slightly* more interested in the opposite sex than they were last year, but in general they’re all pretty innocent. As my sixth grade colleague put it, we can’t ‘smell the hormones’ yet.
However, there are moments where they remind me that change is coming. The other day I was having a discussion about music with some of the kids as we waited for buses. Someone mentioned Taylor Swift, specifically the song “Love Story” (which is not, I was sternly told, called the Romeo and Juliet song. My bad.) One of the boys said, “Oh, I like that song!”
His friend was shocked. “You do?” The first boy nodded. “Yeah, it’s sweet.” His friend scoffed- “Yeah it’s ‘sweet’, it’s romantic.” Clearly, his tone implied, you did not want this in a song. The other boy looked at him, raised his eyebrows, then looked pointedly at the girl next to him and said, “Some people like romance, man. You’re gonna have to learn that someday.”
And so it begins…