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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I woke myself up twice in the night, dreaming about teaching. I would be talking along, having a discussion with my students following their silent reading, and then realize that I'd forgotten to turn the lights on in the classroom! The first time, I realized I didn't have any students before I hit the lights, and fell back asleep vastly relieved I hadn't completely messed up my class; the second time, I turned the lights on and made it out to the kitchen to check the clock (1:14 a.m.) before I realized that I'd been dreaming again.

Interestingly enough, today's middle-schoolers were a bit of a nightmare in my waking life. The problem with middle-schoolers is that in many ways they are bigger babies than my younger kids, but they're trapped in (although wildly varying, and in funny in-between stages of) adult-becoming bodies. With hormones. Sometimes they can be spoken to like adults, which is what our lesson plans essentially believe them to be, and when it works, those are the best times.

Much of the time, however, these students can't be reasoned with at all. Not all are loud and obnoxious and infantile, but those are the noticeable ones, and the ones with whom I have to struggle to keep everyone on track and working. Somehow, they also seem to exert more of an influence on the class climate than the quiet, mature kids--although that's almost certainly my own failing in management. Yes: most of the time, teaching middle-schoolers makes me feel like a failure.

1 comment:

Angela said...

i haven't been keeping up much, so why are you teaching middle schoolers? as a substitute i completely understand your feelings of failure when teaching them. often, they cannot be reasoned with. but you're not failing.