Re-posted by request...
Dear Sixth Grade Boy,
I know it’s tough to be you. I have no doubt that there is a lot going on in your body and brain right now causing you tremendous difficulty on a day to day basis. Though I can’t fully relate to your struggles, I have met enough of you in my travels to be able to offer some friendly words of wisdom and advice. In some cases these will be specific to survival in my classroom, but for others, it’s just plain old good sense.
So, for what’s it’s worth, I offer you the following:
1. Never, ever, ever, EVER wear sweatpants. There are no exceptions to this rule.
2. If we are playing trivia, and I ask you to pick a number between 42 and 100, and you pick 69, be prepared for the long, dark stare you will receive from me. I’m older, and I know more dirty words than you can possibly imagine.
3. If you consistently pick your nose while we are reading The Giver, please don’t be surprised if I email your mother to ask her to buy you your own copy. I don’t like boogers in my books.
4. On the subject of nose-picking: If you continue to do it in public, you will graduate without ever having been kissed by a girl. That’s pretty much a guarantee.
5. If you fart while sitting at table full of girls, just take the heat. No one will believe you when you blame that toxic choker on the 70-pound pony-tailed slip of a girl beside you. Give it up.
6. On the subject of smells: Axe does not cover your body odor from gym. It just makes you smell like my grandfather’s closet. This is not attractive.
7. When telling a parable about the farmer and his two jugs of water, I will try to refrain from calling them “two jugs.” If I forget, could you please attempt to hold it together? And for the record, “throng” means CROWD, not underwear. It’s really not that funny.
8. If I call you up to my desk to discuss your paragraph on the Nile River and feel compelled to put my winter scarf on, it means that I know you are looking down my shirt. I can’t wear turtlenecks every day, and I am an old freaking lady. Get a grip.
9. On the subject of cleavage: the girls in your class just got boobs, like, five minutes ago, and they WILL wear tank tops. If this is too much for you, just sit still and wait it out. Think of dead puppies or your grandmother’s feet or the Gettysburg Address. And if you are still having trouble, DO NOT get up, walk in front of the room, and sign out to go to the boys’ room. Trust me. You will regret it.
10. I know that it’s hard to get from place to place when your hands and feet don’t quite fit you, when you feel compelled to wear the same hooded sweatshirt every day, and you're viewed by your peers based on how fierce you are in dodgeball. You have my sympathy, and my respect for going though all of this. I try to see you as your mothers do – one foot out of the playpen, still hugging your teddy bear in secret, and just trying to figure it all out.
I will do my best to help you, support you, protect you from your classmates and the slings and arrows of outrageous hormones. If you can adhere to the rules of thumb above, it’ll be easier for both of us.