You Might Be a Middle School Teacher Excerpt from "Day One & Beyond: Pratical Matters for New Middle Level Teachers" If you have no qualms about telling adolescents to pull up their pants, spit out their gum, and get their hair out of their faces, even if these adolescents are not in your normal jurisdiction- in grocery lines, at fast-food restaurants, at family reunions, or at your spouse's boss's house-you might be a middle school teacher. If you can detect gum chewing at fifty paces, by one movement of the jaw, you are a middle school teacher. If your peripheral vision range is now up to 240 degrees, you just might be a middle school teacher. If you can stroll down an aisle of adolescents checking homework, and snarf a note from one, a skateboard catalog from another, and a Gameboy from a third without so much as disturbing the modulation of your voice as you explain the causes of the Civil War or the formula for the calculation of the volume of a cone, you might be a middle school teacher. If you have successfully eliminated from your vocabulary all words and phrases which could be construed as having anything to do with pubescent body parts or things those parts could do with each other-such as nut, ball, melon, jug, crack, hard, soft, limp, rubber, bone, French, stick, stroke, whack, poke, bang, feel, lick, insert, suck, or blow-then you most definitely are a middle school teacher. And if, although people tell you, repeatedly, that you must be a saint, or that you must have such patience when they hear what you do for a living, and you are fully aware that you are where you are because really, you never actually left young adolescence in the first place, then you are definitely a middle school teacher.