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elementary to secondary(long)


From: Fields, Linda (fieldsl_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 09 2002 - 08:23:15 PDT

I have gone, over the course of my career, from high school to jr. high to
elementary to middle school, and back to high school. Each one has its pros
and cons. Teaching high school fresh out of college was a mistake-I was both
short and young and most of the kids I had were almost the same age as I
was. The enthusiasm of elementary is wonderful, but I found the scheduling
to be horrendous. I loved middle school, but after 14+ years, felt like I
was getting a bit stagnant. Husband's job change involved a move, so it was
a good time to change. As luck would have it, a high school opening was made
possible. I have been here 8 years. There are parts of it I like very much,
epecially my art II class. However, the problem in high school is the
"dumping" of kids-especially 9th graders-who don't want to be here and then
cause discipline problems. I also end up at the end of the year with many
kids who come from elsewhere and need a place to be so they don't have to go
to a class with an end of course test and pull scores down.The
extra-curricular things take a lot more time-and one is expected to
participate. I guess what gets me the most tired is not the activity, but
the attitude of so many of my kids-the back talk, foul mouths, total
disrespect that I take home in my head every night. I'm sure I have just as
many sweet kids, but it's the problems that seem to be remembered. However,
during teacher appreciation week the English teachers have kids write thank
you notes. I received 3 very nice ones yesterday. I guess if I weren't close
to retirement in 3 years, I might go back to middle school level again. Kids
at that age are so interesting because there's such a variety and they need
us so desperately. I also enjoyed the camraderie of the integration and
teaming concepts. Sorry for rambling on-I guess it boils down to the old
"different strokes for different folks."
Linda in NC