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Lesson Plans

Re: Going HS from ELEM, how?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Maggie White (mwhite)
Sun, 31 Oct 1999 13:53:15 -0700

RB7Surf7 wrote:
> <snip> I have an
> opportunity to teach senior high photography in another state, photography is
> my area of expertise.
> Has anyone switched from teaching elem to high school? What was your
> experience? What are the differences as far as classroom management and
> control? Any advice, suggestions or stories would be helpful


I was an elementary reading specialist for seven years, holding
on 'til the HS art teacher retired. I knew it would be a dream
job, and it has been, going on my ninth year now.

There is so much you can do with HS students, depending on their
previous background. Though you may have to practically start
from scratch to teach them the basics, you can take them so much
farther. You'll still get the "aha" moments when someone
finally understands, just as you do with your little guys. Even
better, you will have students who will develop a real passion
for photography, which is personally and professionally rewarding
beyond words.

Classroom management was tough at first. You can't just loom
over those kids--some of whom are bigger than you--and intimidate
them. You have to be very prepared with a tough but fair
policy. I was very fortunate to have a great vice principal (now
principal) when I switched. I miss those little guys sometimes;
they were really cute. But it was definitely a great move for

I say, if you're willing to relocate, do so. This job sounds
tailor-made for you. You have nothing to lose, except maybe
tenure in a job that apparently sucks, so what's the point of
staying? "You can survive anything for nine months." That is
what friends told me when I was debating whether to leave Tucson
and move to a reservation in the mountains. I thought, yeah,
you're right. That was 16 years ago, and I'm not just surviving,
I'm thriving.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide.