After completing my second full week of teacher assisting, I am confident of one thing: Middle School is where I want to teach. It’s not because of the snotty noses, the sweaty high-fives, the peculiar smells in the hallway, or even the 15th time I’m asked what page the homework is on when it is clearly written on the board. None of these things are what I love about middle school, but what I do love is hidden underneath. It’s the tiniest amount of innocence and willingness to learn that’s still beheld by middle schoolers that too often seems to disappear once they transition into high school that makes them such a gift, if you will, to teachers like myself who are willing to put aside all of the less than appealing sides of these preteen learners.
By now, the students have gotten pretty used to having Dominic and I in the classroom and seem to be just as comfortable with us as they are with our CT. We have moved on to some bigger responsibilities, such as grading quizzes and homework, as well as going over homework questions with the class. I have really enjoyed this, and this has been my first experience in front of the classroom thus far. I was pretty nervous at first, but I’ve realized lately that my nerves are simply stemming from the fear of the unknown. It went pretty smoothly, however it is nerve-racking having twenty-some beady eyes on you just waiting for you to do something to make their day more entertaining – good or bad. As the week went on, I got more and more comfortable with my teaching style and with how I wanted to manage the students. Things can get pretty out of hand quickly, I’ve learned, so it’s important to have tricks to reel ’em back in in a way in which you want them to respect and view you as a teacher. Speaking of the students; I love them. Each and every one of them. They’re a riot. Kids say the darnedest things.
“It’s weird when you hear teachers call each other by their first names. It’s like they’re friends or something.”