I love teaching middle school. The students are a little weird, yes. But they are also dynamic, silly, caring, and fun to teach.
That being said... there are a few things that make this job pretty unique.
You know you teach middle school math when...
1. You tell people what you do for a living and they react with disbelief and/or sympathy... then they go into a long story recounting their math education and that mean math teacher they had in 7th grade.
2. You change math problems so that "69" is never the answer. Ever. (6th graders tend to discover that this word is "funny" towards the end of the school year. 7th/8th grade, it's always "funny")
3. You dread probability problems that involve different colored balls. What is the probability of students laughing when you ask about the probability of choosing a blue ball? 100%.
4. You have ever had a female student write their name, not as Crystal Gonzalez, but as "Crystal Bieber."
5. You do a problem that involves squirrels and acorns, like this POM, and you are VERY careful to say acorns throughout class. Don't even think of saying nuts.
6. In no other job is it normal to say things such as, "please stop rolling around on the floor," "stop poking him with your pencil," or, "stop chewing on that piece of plastic." That's normal for me. That's called Wednesday.
7. When using variables in problems you avoid using the letter "p." Students find it so funny hearing their teacher refer to "pee" in math class.
8. A problem like this makes kids giggle. Two circles next to each other with dots in the center? Pure middle school humor.
Oh my, a lot of bathroom/body part humor. What can I say? I teach middle school math!