Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What? You LOVE middle school?

I hear this almost every day. From student teachers to other teachers. No one seems to understand that there are those of us to really do love the middle school child. We know that it is strange. The 6th grades come in wired with no idea of what is about to happen to them. Seventh graders are the middle of the middle. When the year starts they are still sixth graders but when the year is over you can see they have matured. Eighth graders start the year as the “Kings” of middle school but end with that freshman mentality”.

I have taught eighth graders for 21 years now but have been pulled to teach a class here and there of 6th or 7th history. I love 8th graders but can handle each of the others. I love the subject that as Rodney Dangerfield said “Gets no respect!” In middle school it is all about ELA and Math. Whoa is the Social Studies teacher. I may do all the things the school needs but I really “don’t get any respect”. That’s fine by me.

I like being the “other teacher”, the office tends to leave me alone allowing me to do other things needed such as yearbook, the school’s webpage, my history club, Junior Beta, and so forth. There are lots of needs at a school that ELA and Math can’t seem to ever get to. They are so covered with in-services, this form and that test. It tends to be all about how they score on the state mandated tests at the end of the year.

This new-year is getting my brain to really work as I am starting a new school – a private school. I will be teaching in another teacher’s classroom while he is teaching PE. I will be moved around all week and not really having a place to put all my treasures but I can handle it. They don’t realize that I am a very flexible teacher who can do just about everything anywhere with almost nothing.

The only real downside of this move is that I will be taking a pay cut and not having a room that I can call my own. Sure I will enjoy my teacher partner. We have been friends for a good while and I can tag teach in some of hs classes while there.

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