Are You Smarter Than a Sixth Grader?

Are You Smarter Than a Sixth Grader? April 5, 2024


Sibillino @ pixabay: Are you smarter than.a sixth grader?


Teaching “middle schoolers” for half of every day has been as much of an education for me as it has been for them. For example, I now understand that bussin, means something that is extremely good, and bussin bussin is the very best. If someone says cap or sends a cap emoji, it indicates that something is a lie, while no cap is truth.  Bet is used as a term of affirmation or agreement. Cheugy (chew-gee) is someone or something that is uncool and outdated. It can also be used to describe someone that is trying too hard and missing the mark. Delulu is just what it sounds like–someone who is delusional and unrealistic. I hear sus a lot. It means behaviors or people that are suspicious. Unalive, big surprise, means that something is dead or was killed.  It is used because it is believed that TikTok censors the use of violent words. Rockstar is a compliment. As an English teacher, I have a whole new, bussin vocabulary! Well, I still haven’t figured out woke. What about you? Are you smarter than a sixth grader? Or, at least, smart enough to survive a conversation with one?


Perhaps it is because I am in a Christian school (but I don’t think so) but not all middle school conversation is like this (thank you, Jesus!). Actually, sixth graders are pretty astute. They are old enough to know what they see on the news, wise enough to remember that there is a right and a wrong, and innocent enough to believe that the world can still become right.

The World Through Their Eyes

Today I asked my class to think about all that was going on around us. Our area has just been hit with horrible flooding and many families have been displaced from their homes. However, I wanted them to think about the big picture–the whole global community. I asked the students to think about that for about five minutes (a long time, to them) and to be prepared to answer this question:


If you were given a podium and a microphone, and if you could speak in front of a camera, and your image and your words would be sent out all over the world, what would you say? What do you want to tell the world?


They were given fifteen minutes to write three points, three things they would tell the world. Honestly, I expected the number one answer would be about God, and it was, but the message was a little different than I thought it would be. They didn’t talk to the world about giving up sin or changing their beliefs or accepting a different faith. They nearly unanimously encouraged the people of the world that, “God loves you.”



Are You Smarter Than a Sixth Grader?

After that, I really expected to see a lot about the coming elections or March Madness and the Final Four, or about how school should be different. I’d love to share all the answers, but I’ll share just some representative statements that will make you wonder if you are smarter than a sixth grader. Here you go:


“Don’t think about the scary, sad, and unknown future that is to come. Stay positive and think about good memories. If you can’t stay focused on that, pray.”


“Think of others before yourself.”


“We only have one earth and one life to live on this earth. We need to take it into our own hands to stop pollution, and to start getting along together, so that our descendants can have a good earth, too.”


“Can we just try to get along? From the simplest thing, like who gets the last brownie, to the big things like people’s rights, we need to find a way to get along with others.”


“We should treat each other equally. No matter what color, race, religion, or gender you are, we should be kind. Just because you’re a boy doesn’t mean I’m not going to give you a cupcake.” (Love that girl!)


“Don’t completely focus on earthly possessions.”


“Get off the phones and look at what’s happening in the world!” (Ya think this kid has heard this at home?)


“I personally enjoy music. If I’m in a bad mood or angry, it just calms me down. If you’re upset, listen to music.”


“I think everyone should try not to fight any more. Instead of fighting, we should help each other, because helping makes everyone happy.”


So are you smarter than a sixth grader? Seems to me they have some pretty deep wisdom.

They Are Precious in His Sight

  1. Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5).
  2. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. (Isaiah 54:13).
  3. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5).
  4. At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-3).
  5. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (3 John 1:4).
  6. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).

Yes, there are always exceptions, but I think “middle schoolers” have a pretty clear picture of how things are and how things should be–no cap. I’m becoming a little more attentive to their wisdom. They could teach the world some good stuff. What do you think? Are you smarter than a sixth grader?


Now … how can I get them to stop talking after the bell rings???


God bless you and reveal to you the simple truths that He reveals to children.


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