What Teaching Middle School is like
Teaching Middle School
When people ask me what teaching middle school is like, I like to tell them that it is like a party every single day. I party I wasn’t necessarily invited to, but a party nonetheless. Let’s keep this simile going, it is loud like a party, there are always a lot of people like a party, most of the people there are looking to have fun. However, one of the biggest problems with this party, is that I am there. I am clearly just ruining the party!
Although most of what I just said is for fun, part of the reason it’s funny is because it’s true. Middle school is a crazy place. There are the hormones. The kids hit twelve years old and everything changes. They grow quickly, stop having full control of their limbs and begin to fall out of their chairs. They run around like crazy, start to sweat and for some reasons are not aware that they should be wearing deodorant. Middle school smells, it smells bad. There are days that I don’t even realize how bad it smells until I leave my room; when I come back I realize that I’ve been living in an armpit.
But honestly middle school is hard. Not for the teachers, but for the students. Of course for some students academic work is difficult, but that isn’t what makes middle school hard. Usually it is the social dynamic that changes everything. Many children arrive in middle school, friends with their neighborhood friends, as a child you become friends with the people who are around you. But as soon as you hit middle school, that all changes. Cliques begin, some kids are in, which inevitably means that someone else is out. Navigating the world of middle school and the social hierarchy that comes with it is a tremendous strain on many children.
It is hard for them …
It is a strain, but because middle school children want to be adults. They make decisions that they think adults make. The first and usually one of the worst is that they stop telling their parents everything. They think that adults can figure things out on their own and only kids need their mom and dad. So they try to handle the upheaval of their lives by themselves. But this is where I usually come in. They may not want to share their lives with their parents, but they still look for someone.
As a middle school teacher, I can share what little I know, about the world and people, with kids that are trying to grow up in an ever changing world. I tell my students all the time, that other than very specific moments in my life, the death of my mother for example, middle school was by far, the most difficult time of my life. If I was offered a million dollars, I would not go back to middle school. I tell them this, to let them know that it really gets better; if you can get through middle school, you really can make it. Once you figure out who you are, what you believe in and begin to like yourself; life really can be amazing!
I guess there are other things that I could do other than teaching middle school English, but honestly why would I want to. Unlike other people going to other jobs, I get to go to a party everyday.