eoporto said: What’s the difference? Maturity?
ladyofleisuredc said: Is it comparable to 7th? Better?
The maturity level is a major factor. I know people who hate the sass and the way 8th graders act but I like that their personalities are a little more developed. Just a year makes a big difference at this age. The content, as a reading teacher, is more enjoyable for me. Since 8th graders are tested in social studies I get to really play on my history major background and delve into political readings, speeches, and the like. Not to mention, 8th grade is fun! There is the dance, 8th grade challenge, a trip to the smoky mountains with the environmental club, graduation, late lunch, classroom economy. I feel like one of my strengths is preparing students for high school and helping them make big decisions about courses and programs they want to pursue as 9th graders. 7th has been a challenge for me because they are younger and I can’t push the literary envelope like I would want to. I miss that aspect of teaching 8th graders the most.
My principal talked to me about moving back to 8th grade next year. He’s going to, “try to make it happen.” Nothing definite yet though which is going to make me terribly anxious until I know for sure. Although I really don’t think it’s something he would have mentioned if he didn’t think there was a good chance he could pull it off. I miss being an 8th grade teacher, y’all.
That had to be why my 7th period lost their ever loving minds today.
Except that doesn’t explain all of the other days this happens.
The plan to switch from the silent conversations I had planned originally to station work was a brilliant one for most of my classes. And then we hit a wall during 7th period. I just hate that they can’t seem to handle anything fun. It’s disappointing.
Also, I’m so tired.
WEEKLY. Seriously. At least once a week if not more I have a moment where I question my teaching ability and feel like I’m horrible at my job. I think it’s because the enormity of just what we do every day hits me and I wonder if I’m affecting change in the right way, if I’m preparing my students well enough for what is to come, if they’ll look back and think they’ve learned anything at all from my class. Does this mean I’m actually a horrible teacher? No, by all accounts and evaluations and feedback it’s far from the reality. But I think what it does make me is a reflective practitioner, which is a great thing. The truth is: I don’t want to be the teacher who settles and thinks she’s great at what she does every day. If I’m that I’ll never grow or change as an educator. Any new educator needs a mentor to discuss these fears with. If your guiding teacher can be that person for you I suggest you confide in him or her and explain how you feel. This person should be able to give you feedback and help you to improve upon whatever areas you are concerned about. The hardest part is trying not to take any criticism personally, but rather looking at it as areas of potential growth. I struggle with confidence when it comes to teaching and talking through those issues with someone has been critical for my sanity.
I reblogged this a while back because it’s so true, “New teachers are eager and passionate. They are also extremely scared and delicate. They need someone that they can trust. They need someone that they can celebrate with and also someone who will let them express their fears and concerns.”
This fits my instructional coach to a tee. If I didn’t have her guiding me as I embarked upon this journey I’m not sure I would have survived it. I also have a couple of teacher mamas and big sisters in my building who think nothing of my latest cry fest over my fears and misgivings. Find these people. They will be invaluable to you during your progress as an educator. But also, don’t be too hard on yourself. If you like what you do that’s half the battle. Plenty of educators finish school and find they hate this profession. The rest will follow if you have the passion for it and the desire to constantly work on improving your practices.
P.S. Thank you for thinking I’m worthy of this question. Good luck with student teaching!