Today I was the sub in my friend's 6th grade class for the afternoon (she had to go to a math class). Half a day is just right for me. I'm not sure I'd make it through a whole day at this point.
Anyway, 6th graders are very interesting people - not quite teenagers but almost. For the afternoon i had 3 classes rotate through and they were working on writing assignments. The first group was great and did their work and it was so quiet that is was almost too quiet. The 2nd group were very roudy and tough to settle down, until I talked about the "punishment essay" that the teacher requires them to copy/write if she gets a bad report. Then the 3rd group was pretty mellow and fun to talk to. Their assignments were to write a reflection essay of 150 words on January - the things they did. Very easy and most kids had it done and handed in quickly. Others sat there most of the time and didn't write more than one sentence.
The really interesting thing was the other assignment was a creative writing one - a "magic" story. During the 1st group one student asked if he could read his aloud. I was shocked. Who asks to read their story out loud? Well, I found out why most of them wanted to do this - it was to embarass or shock their classmates with their stories. Several stories were of 2 classmates who got married and had kids and what happened to them. The boys were so embarassed by this. Some stories were very well written and creative but others were just the daily soap opera of a pre-teen. Very enlightening and a good reminder for me of what kids are like at that age.