I have students who still raise their hands as far as their arms will let them, wiggle in their seats, and say “Oooo, oooo!” when they know the right answer.
In general, the kids are not too cool to admit they like a class or a lesson or school in general.
I have one student who tells me I’m his favorite teacher. I haven’t figured out yet if he means it or if he’s just kissing up, but I’m okay with it either way.
I had a kid who told me yesterday that if he could stay in my class for three periods a day instead of going to his fourth period and seventh period classes, he would. Now, I think that has to do more with his dislike of those other classes (or teachers) than his love for me or English, but at least the hour he spends with me is not his least favorite of the day.
One of my students has a last name pronounced the same way as mine, but spelled differently. Until he realized the spelling was different, he was excited about the idea that we might be related. When I pointed out the difference, he was disappointed, but then decided we’re distantly related. He decided he is my half nephew. (I don’t know that such a thing exists, but as far as this student is concerned, it does.)
Middle schoolers are mostly cute.