Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to the Torture Chamber

Like most kids, I couldn't wait to graduate from high school, finish college, and get on with my life. Although high school wasn't too bad,and elementary school had been tolerable, junior high was the worst torture I could ever imagine for someone. I wouldn't have wished my junior high school experience on my own worst enemy (I had a few whom I've since forgiven for making my life so miserable.)

So here I am, an adult, spending year 31 in (where else?) a junior high school classroom! What am I thinking?

In all honestly, I'm thinking, "Okay, another year. So what?" My lessons are planned for the week. Handouts for are copied and ready. I've made two slide presentations to accompany my lessons. I've even cleaned out my desk drawers.

Today was 7th grade orientation. My classroom was filled with students and parents for most of the morning. They seem like a pretty good group of kids. Tomorrow I'll really find out. I'll be teaching two 7th Honors English pods and two 9th grade English classes. I'm excited to have the 9th graders again. I've taught 9th grade for 29 years, so not having them last year felt really strange.

I know--some of you are thinking I'm strange. Despite the fact my own junior high experience was crummy, I still sort of like these guys and this age group. The idea of being in an elementary school and coming home with little hand-prints all over me is creepy (not to mention the number of germs those little kids spread around!) I taught Seniors once and they might as well have been AWOL from school since their brains were already of graduation the first day of school.

Junior high kids are great. Still trusting enough to be interested in what you're saying, independent enough that I don't have to wipe their noses, and becoming savvy enough about the world in general that you can talk with them like they might possibly understand what you're saying.

Torture chamber or not, I'm back. Now if I could only find where I put that switch to the electric chair . . .


Annette Lyon said...

I still wish there were a way you could be my kids' English teacher. Move north, woman!

Cheri Chesley said...

The junior high years are critical to our social and personal development. At least your kids have a wonderful, talented, dedicated teacher who has a genuine interest in them. These kids will remember being in your class their whole lives.