I've always been convinced that elementary is the level I was meant to teach. I'm certified K-12, but my entire teaching career has been at the elementary level (and most of that in the primary grades).
This semester, however, due to budget cuts, schedule constraints, and one of the secondary teachers needing an extra prep period, I've been teaching one period of junior high reading.
Yes, that's right. Junior high. The redheaded stepchild of school leveling. That age that everyone wishes their kids would just skip over on their way to adulthood. Puberty at its finest. Attitude and laziness and sarcasm.
And I kind of enjoy it. Sick, huh?
In some ways, it's more difficult than teaching the wee ones. In others, it's easier. The workload kind of balances out. But I kind of enjoy the specific challenges that teaching those in-between ages presents. Maybe it's just the newness of it all, but I honestly find myself looking forward to seventh period. They're loud, hormone-y, and slightly awkward. I have to say things like, "Please don't fart and waft it intentionally at your neighbor." I have to answer questions like, "If number one is pee and number two is anaq (poop), what's number three?" I supervise boys and girls whose idea of coy flirtation is throwing mechanical pencils at each others' heads.
In a sick, sadistic kind of way, it's a lot of fun.
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