Teaching Middle School, Week 18: The finale

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Lesson from an assistant principal on how to tie a tie

The much-anticipated Day 90 of my semester-long experiment of teaching a careers class in a local middle school came on Friday. That day was the last one of the semester.

I thought I’d feel many emotions: joy, exhilaration, pride – and most of all, relief.

But, honestly, I don’t feel much of anything.

Except tiredness.

Perhaps it will take me a while to process my time with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I suspect that will be the case.

But also I suspect that I’ll need to recover physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually before I can sort through my feelings with any real insights.

Heck, I’ll need to do some recovering before I can even actually feel them!

I’ve learned so much in these 90 days with middle school students. 

About both these students and myself.

If you’ve never taught before, you may not know this: It’s the teachers who always, ALWAYS learn the most!

So my middle school experiment was an experiment with myself much more than it was one with my students and school.

And I have an easy comparison – with myself from the 23-year high school teaching gig I completed 8 years ago.

The person I was at the end of that teaching time is quite a different person than the one who just completed this 90-day time period.

This person is much calmer and much less reactionary and resentful – even if she is much more tired after each day.

During the next month or so, I’ll be exploring the differences I’ve seen and felt in myself.

But for right now, for today, I’m going to rest. I’m not going to think, not going to try to figure anything out.

I have 4 more days at school, days we call in-service days. Days when we wrap up the semester and clean up our rooms. When we complete our academic year and tie it up with a bow.

Days with no students.

So these days feel almost like vacation, even though we’ll be working. Because it’s the wrangling with students that is the most exhausting, the dealing with all of the various energies of middle school kids that wears us out.

By the end of this week, I’ll finish my requirements for a completed semester.

Then I’ll rest and recover . . . in perhaps my favorite way of all. You’ll have to see my next blog post to know what that is  🙂

So until then, this old teacher will be putting another teaching stint in the books.

And will be starting to wonder, just a tiny bit, where the path will lead next. . .

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Students help each other tie ties

 

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