revisiting wallflower status at the middle school dance

dance dance dance

dance dance dance

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.

lots of hot air

lots of hot air

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.

Ms. Mel and I are incognito

Ms. Mel and I are incognito

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.


Slice of Life

Slice of Life


About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in international teaching, life and culture, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to revisiting wallflower status at the middle school dance

  1. debbussewitz says:

    Your entry brought me back to my middle school days. Very nice post!

  2. Karen Walker says:

    Somehow…I think you were/are probably one of those teachers who stike the perfect “happy medium”!! LOVE reading your posts!!!

    • jaclynfre says:

      Aunt Karen, You have been my cheerleader from the very beginning–the very tough and rocky and unforgettable beginnings in PS 27!! Thanks for your kind note!! How are you?

      • Karen Walker says:

        Hey Jackie, I’m fine. Very busy….awaiting my new grandson soon too. 🙂 But not too busy to read your posts!! Sometimes I am just cracking up at your great sense of humor…and honesty!

        Love ya!!

  3. Susanne says:

    I chaperoned a Middle School dance last winter. Our kiddos were sorted into three major groups: The largest group were bleacher sitters. Next were the kids that just ran in and out of the gym. One set of boys threw a hat up in the air the whole evening. The smallest group were the dancers. You called it right- adorably nerdy, and they didn’t care one bit.

    • jaclynfre says:

      Middle schoolers are going through such a range of development!! There is such a huge difference between 6th grade boys and 8th grade girls, no? Thanks for sharing!

  4. Betsy says:

    I loved the conversation your teacher partner had. I could see that playing out. Too funny 🙂

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