Stories from this week 10/28 (revised 11/10)

  • Students explaining what it’s like to be 16 and having emotional ups and downs. If only they could have seen me!
  • “Miss, are you annoyed with us?” Ya think?!
  • Kids owe me quarters when they use inappropriate language, but can sit in another teachers room for 2 minutes if they can’t afford it. The kids prefer the quarters because the other teacher is “scary”. Phil is one of the least scary people I know.
  • My kids don’t believe I’m a first year teacher because I’m better than most of their “old” teachers. Haha.
  • I have better stories than other teachers – my kids think I was a trouble maker after telling them of all that my peers got away with in my 10th grade spanish class (e.g. a kid jumping out the window and going to study hall without getting the teachers attention)…and then they tagged on the wall in washable marker. Just another story to add to the list!

A week and a half ago I was relatively entertained by my students.

Entertainment quickly turned into frustration and maybe a bit of resentment when I realized the energy it takes to be entertained by my 9th graders leaves my husband without dinner and clean clothes. I’ve always known I don’t do well with middle school aged kids (I put 14 year olds in that grouping) and this teaching assignment has only confirmed that.

I feel like it’s important to share my thoughts/ideas via the blog because I know there are other teachers who experience the same emotions (a la my kids got me so angry I was pretty sure I would enjoy staying up all night with a newborn a whole lot more than teaching them!). I am so thankful for my colleagues and mentors who have encouraged me through the last few weeks.

On this side of the situation, I’m doing much better – there are no resignation letters in the works, I promise!

The issue IS NOT:

  • me not caring enough
  • my kids being absolutely horrendous, ugly, evil people
  • being at the wrong school
  • being in the wrong job/profession

The issue IS:

  • I am not suited for (or even have positive feelings about) working with large groups of young teens
  • my goals as a teacher include giving students skills for the “real world” – 14 year olds could care less
  • I am a Physics teacher; I don’t want to do anything but teach Physics!

I will certainly be finishing out the year with my crazy 9th graders, but after this year it’s only Physics for me! It’s just a good reminder of what my limits are and how well I know myself.

For all those teachers who are feeling like they’re not in the right place, I encourage you to talk to people who know you as a teacher and as a human. While friends and colleagues have good intentions, you need to work through a situation like this with people who know the context of your life.

My attitude changed when I set out to find something fun to do – only having school in my life is not good for my stability. Looking forward to seeing how my new hobbies progress!!

Thanks for reading. I hope you might be encouraged!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Liz on November 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    You may surprise yourself, sometimes the age level you dread the most ends up being your favorite. I taught HS Bio in a mixed age classroom (Freshman – Juniors) before moving to middle school, and I love MS now.

    No matter what age level, you are teaching kids first, science second. =)


    • Posted by Becky on November 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      When I taught middle school last year, I threw things when I got home at the end of the day, so these aren’t new feelings :)


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