Okay, last year I had 4th graders, before that I had 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I'm not one of those teachers who gets buddy buddy with my students, but I do establish pretty good relationships with them. Relationships where we can relax and not have a guard up (it's important to me that students feel "safe" and unguarded in my room) and my past students (a large number of them) would come to me in confidence on a regular basis. Trust, confidence, safety, and comfort and goals in my classroom. Comfort often means that we can joke together from time to time But seriously, this year, these students do not get sarcasm (my 4th graders did ?? but these 7th graders don't), and take themselves very seriously. Like today, I was joking with a student and a different looked annoyed and said to me "What is that supposed to mean?" I explained I was only kidding with the student and I would never say anything to hurt somebody's feelings. So, anyways, I feel guarded in my own room, afraid something I say might be misconstrued--so just have to turn off some personality traits I guess. Anyone ever been in this position??