Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Oh. My. Gosh.
It’s been a whirlwind of a week.

… and this is the mess on my desk after just 55 minutes of class.


  1. That is exactly how I feel after 1 afternoon with Grade 8 math classes!

  2. My favorite part of starting a new school year was setting up the classroom BEFORE the students arrived. – So clean, and peaceful!

  3. Yikes!!

  4. I have a question for you: Why high school?

    I’m twenty-five and trying to decide if I want to teach high school or college. Maybe I’m not far enough from high school, but I don’t think I could teach it. I’m just curious as to why you chose high school instead of college.

    Hello Callista! =)
    Let me just give you a little background here – it might help.
    My student-teaching internship had me teaching a semester of third grade and another semester of high school (Spanish, ESL, and Bilingual Ed. Classes). I loved them both. Honest. Since then, I have taught all grades K – 12 except 1st and University classes (4 year school). The joy in teaching is not just in the chronological age group, but rather in the age of your heart. Here’s the pros/cons as far as I see (and please, folks, jump in with your teaching experience/thoughts too – You KNOW this is a BIG decision to make! LOL).

    Here’s my good-humored, slapped together response for ya, Callista. I hope it makes sense!

    Elementary school:
    Kids trust you from the get-go and are eager to engage.
    Your silliest (and substantial!) educational plans will go over with wonder and awe.
    You can effect change… and see it almost immediately.

    If mediating who touched whose pencil is not for you, avoid all grades lower than third.
    It can be exhausting to teach several different subject areas – some days you are just not inspired to teach it all yet there it is.
    You WILL, without a doubt, ruin several decent work clothes with paint, paper mache, glue, markers or merely by sitting on the floor with the class.

    LOVE the energy! It will bowl you over!
    Happy! Happy! JOY! JOY! = Kids are genuinely engaged, curious, thoughtful and willing.
    HORMONES turn 7th grade, 8th grade, and 9th grade into a serious peer pressure pot. Be willing to engage in conversations and stop the madness the minute you spy even an inkling. Failure to do so will result in emotional trauma for someone in the classroom – whether that trauma is yours or a students. It will happen.
    Your impact is hidden from view. You may never know which students you helped and which you did not.

    Kids are really dying to talk and engage in conversation with ANYONE who doesn’t live with them and treats them with respect/adult-like.
    Highly creative, intellectual and astute.
    Snarky, satirical, joyful, semi-naive (in the positive sense) and keen to find their way = these traits make for super classroom fodder and lesson planning express – it’s easy to connect with them.
    Energetic like no other and then the next moment – calm and ready to go.
    Motivated to try new things with you and WILL NOT laugh if it bombs if you admit defeat or let them know it’s a new thing.. (Gotta love that)
    Can be apathetic.
    Hormones at this age (and middle school) cause forgetfulness. Really. They are NOT trying to blow you off – it just is what it is, biologically speaking.
    If you hate repeating yourself and rewording things like an attorney, don’t think about negotiating curriculum with teenagers. They should all just sign their names with the letters “J.D.” afterward.
    Explicit teaching… without teaching explicitly. (Umm… be direct.. just don’t give them the answers or summaries, etc. In other words, teach Shakespeare… but make their own reading matter. Sometimes teachers get so hung up on everyone having the same interpretation that they just don’t give high school kids a chance to figure it on their own a bit too.)
    Cap & Gown. Cap & Gown. You will be “graduating” forever in May or June in a HOT gym or auditorium. Enjoy the speeches!

    Class becomes so connected to schedule that it can be difficult to incorporate community/student background. (NOTE: This completely depends on WHAT you teach. Us language teachers? We use the student’s background as part of the curriculum. :) )
    Superior depth of content.
    Can effect real change and see it/hear about it.
    No homework to correct at home. Just papers… and tests. (well.. ok.. this again depends on you/your topic).
    You know those 3 hour classes? DANG, GIRL! Those 3 hours of teaching = A WICKED amount of PLANNING HOURS. (I hear this diminishes as time goes by…. HA! It does… but not as much as you WISH it did. Or at least, that hasn’t happened for me much yet. I must be doing something wrong. LOL)
    Publishing/research requirements/paper writing. While this is COOL, it is also quite difficult if you are a teaching-oriented professor.
    Many of your colleagues at the college level are not versed in educational practices… and some just don’t care. It makes your job at setting boundaries or establishing expectations a bit difficult sometimes.
    Cap & Gown. Cap & Gown. You will be “graduating” forever in May or June in a HOT gym or auditorium. Enjoy the speeches!

  5. Hah, I had forgotten about the “graduating”. I always felt so bad for my professors (I count two of them among my very good friends)… “Oh, do you have graduation this year?” and the general moping that went along with it. Gah. You make very good points about things I would hate – loathe – about teaching at the college level.

    I’ve done preschool and I love it, and I’m really good with kids up until the hit about… 3rd or 4th grade. Then something happens and they just get mean. Meaner than high school. I’m not sure if it’s insecurity about where the fit, but it doesn’t seem to go away until high school. Is that just me thinking that, or has anyone else observed that? I would love to teach high school; I feel like I could do a lot of good. I mean, if I hadn’t have had my art teacher, who knows where I would be today?

    I don’t think I would want to teach high school until I was thirty though. Some of my classmates are actually teaching my little sister, (She’s eight years younger.) and from what I see around campus and hear from her, the kids don’t generally listen to or care about the teachers that are that young. Maybe our high school just sucks. 😛

  6. I feel for you. I don’t know about teaching, but I do know about that feeling of having your desk a mess at the BEGINNING of the day! I just started a new job with way more hours, way more responsibility, and way more stress. (I’m an attorney.) I’ve survived 2 weeks and think I might make it! :)

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