Middle school dance! Do these 3 words inspire nostalgia or terror or fond memories or all three? I returned to a middle school dance last Friday night as a chaperone. Having gone from elementary school–where I would make an appearance at skating parties–to being a full-fledged middle school teacher, it was combination of being a kid and an adult at the same time. But not in the usual–middle-aged person trying to be “hip,” but more in the “you never shake your social status because a dance is the ultimate sorting mechanism” sensation.
I marvel at student DJs. Kids who break dance in the center of a crowd. Adorably nerdy kids who dance uninhibitedly. I marvel at teachers who strike the right balance between having fun and being the steady presence.
I’m nerdy all the way through. Tapping my toes in the back of the room–keeping an eye out for something. What? Dancing too hard. Complimenting fashion or the latest dance moves too enthusiastically. Taking too many pictures of students–trying to create a record of the festivities, not wanting to leave anyone out. Including the 6th grade boys who just want to shoot rubber tipped suction cup darts at target boards in the next room.
My partner teacher advises me in his British accent (He’s actually from the UK) with a comical “kids today” parody voice, “Don’t listen to the lyrics, Jackie. They’ll only upset you.” I nod in “So True” agreement–part of the sketch.
All the chaperones received an email on Sunday from the president of the student council:
On behalf of the Middle School Student Council, I would like to thank you all for volunteering your time to chaperone our biggest event so far this year. It wouldn’t have been a success without your help.
Once again, thank you. We can’t thank you all enough.