Things My 6th Graders Say That Just Make Sense


Colleen Conradi

For the last four summers I have worked as a summer school instructor at a middle school back home in the Bay Area. Normally, because I go to school in San Diego, I am never able to stay on during the school year to work for the after-school program. However, because of remote learning, this year I have my own class of sixth graders that I see on Zoom every Monday through Friday and it is never dull! Remote learning is definitely not anyone’s favorite, but all of their 11-year-old personalities make all of the challenges of the job worth it. In the last two months or so I have done my best to keep track of some of the best quotes I hear during class. Here are some highlights: 

  • “So like, I could write that Joe Bayden (Biden) thinks that Black Lives Matter should, like, matter?” 

  • “My birthday is this weekend, but my cousins aren’t coming because we don’t talk to them anymore…but it’s okay because I’m getting an ice cream cake.”

  • *in the Zoom chat*
  • Me: Girl, get some homework done!
  • Student: no <3

  • “I’m really sorry to ask, Ms. Colleen, but what is binder paper?”

  • “Ms., can I go to the bathroom?” — while on Zoom inside their own home

  • Me: Yeah, so next week I’ll be driving back down to San Diego (from the Bay Area).
  • Student: Why don’t you just have your mom drive you? That way it’s free!

  • “You wear Converse?! People wore those in, like, the 1980s.” 

  • “Ms. Colleen what was it like to go to middle school back in the early 2000s?”

  • “Mr. Josh was just wonderful, but you’re one percent better.” – student talking about their substitute when I was out sick

  • Me: Okay everyone, it’s homework time, so let me know what you’re working on!
  • Student: I told you already, I’m working on myself.

Clearly these kids have awesome personalities and very curious minds. Thankfully it’s only November, which means we have around nine more months to get many more quotes where that came from! Until then, please continue to enjoy and ponder those listed above.  – Ms. Colleen

Artwork courtesy of Angela Liang for The UCSD Guardian