I have the good fortune to pursue a new opportunity for the upcoming school year. I will be “leaving” the classroom to work as a teacher resource specialist for technology in my district. Though I will not be assigned to any one group of students, I am looking forward to working with the students in other teachers’ classrooms, co-planning, co-teaching, and developing resources for 21st century instruction.
Leading up to this change in assignment for the upcoming school year, I have been reflecting a great deal on my teaching career. I stumbled upon this short essay I wrote a few years back, in 2011, about being a middle school teacher:
I teach middle school. When most people hear this, their faces immediately scrunch as if they just smelled something terrible, and they quickly confess that those were their most challenging years. Many people even go so far as to say they hated middle school.
They remember middle school being tough for reasons beyond the constant exposure to an increasingly difficult curriculum. Transitioning from elementary to secondary school is full of academic challenges – and social pressures for today’s students – maybe even more than we may realize, or more than what we can remember from our own experiences.
Though it may be a difficult time, these middle school years are absolutely critical for preparing students with the skills and strategies they will use and build upon for the rest of their lives. Understanding that my students have challenges and difficulties – and finding relevant and effective ways to help my students overcome them – is what makes my job so rewarding and meaningful.
My goal is that someday, when my students are grown and they are reminded of their middle school years, they will not scrunch their faces and, instead, will have many positive memories to reflect upon – because of what they learned, and the people they became while we worked together.
I am happy to report that my goals are still in tact. In addition, my goals include empowering other teachers and providing them with resources to give their students positive and meaningful learning experiences. I’m looking forward to this new opportunity and the new school year!
What did YOU do in school today?