Middle School Mom

Much of my life revolves around middle school. I’ve been a middle school teacher for years. I also currently have a middle school child. I’m so thankful that last year’s experience of having two children in the same middle school where I teach will never happen again. Fortunately, the grades of the rest our kid’s grades are spread apart so that somebody finishes 8th before the next one starts 6th until finally number four moves into high school.

I was spending most of a recent Saturday catching up on planning, grades and paperwork. My 13 year old has been asking to go to Hobby Lobby frequently. I occasionally try to do stuff to effectively communicate that I do actually listen and care about her. Mind you, this can be tricky with 13 year olds.

The entire time we were shopping she was ranting about how she is lacking in clothing for our upcoming free dress day (uniforms are required in the school). I suggested she wear leggings and a tunic (she got about 3-5 new ones last week because the slightly legitimate rant at that time was that she had no winter apparel).

However, my personal rule is that if you wear leggings, your shirt needs to cover your butt. According to her, that is an insane rule from an arcane biblical time. She did threaten at one point to just take different clothes to school and change there into them. Naturally, I reminded her that as I’m her teacher I am also fully capable of ensuring appropriate school discipline occurs if she changes into something inappropriate. It was an excruciating experience in trying to maintain respectful dialogue while attempting compromise.

I gave up. Gratefully escaping further discussion and started hiding in my room claiming an urgent need to finish up my weekend work. I did text the AP because now I’m wondering, am I allowed to assign an in-school suspension to my own daughter for dress code? Would administration really back me up if it actually got that far? I know they’re pretty supportive, but …..

If you’re wondering how it ended- No, assigning suspensions is above my pay grade. But the 13 year old has since recognized that she does in fact have acceptable clothing to wear hanging in her closet.


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I’m a wife, mother and teacher. Navigating the uncertainties of life with the aid of unending grace.

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