First week as a middle school teacher is in the books.
Here's what I learned this week:
#1 - 8th graders are just larger versions of 6th graders - they still need things spelled out.
#2 - it takes middle schoolers about 5 days to warm up to a new teacher - today there were so many "oh hey mrs. lewis" while walking around campus. Actually excited to talk to me outside the classroom = good start!
#3 - I don't care for the repeating part of my day. I never seem to keep straight what I have already said. I feel like I'm losing it pretty much all day.
#4 - Having student's lockers in your room means you have not a MINUTE to yourself, all day. No time for the bathroom, and lunch, well, it is EXACTLY 30 minutes so my kids can get into their lockers.
#5 - 180+ names to memorize will be the hardest thing I do this year. And the mandatory uniform takes away a lot of the personal style that normally helps me with their names!
#6 - Paper is hard to come by and by my prep 6th period, there is none left. Once it's gone for the day - too bad so sad.
#7 - Speaking of "prep", they don't like when you call P.E. prep - elementary teacher mistake.
#8 - the gaps that kids have in their knowledge just gets scarier in middle school. This week I taught a student how to use a ruler, and divide 18 by 3. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. Somewhere along the line we failed these kids.
Before school started we were talking about middle school, and how it really is the last step and line of defense before kids go to high school. We may be the last ones to bridge the gap and prevent them from dropping out. I like this mentality instead of just thinking of these couple of years as the "terrible middle school years". I can already tell this will be quite the year. Yes, it has gotten better, but I think I just may be an elementary teacher at heart. We'll see.
Here is a preview of the quilt project I did with my students this week. I'm excited to share the final products early next week!