This past week, I started my new job as a part-time teacher at the school where I subbed last year. It's a very small private school where all classes are taught in English. It shouldn't be such a big deal, but 1) I have a four-month-old baby whom I have to say goodbye to most mornings of the week, and 2) I haven't had a job in TWO WHOLE YEARS, something that hasn't been the case since I was 14. Oh, if I had a buck for everytime I fantasized about not having a job over the years... Frankly, it kinda sucked. I never had the "yay! it's FRIIIIIDAAAAAY!!!!" feeling, because everyday was a Friday, every morning was Sunday morning. Nebulous. Structure is a mighty good thing to have in your life, and I've sure missed it these past two years.
But now, it's back, in force. Not only do I have to organize my own structure, but I also must push and pull 20 middle-schoolers along with me for eight hours each week, in and around the magical kingdoms of English and History. Curiously, not many 13-year-olds are naturally and intrinsically overjoyed to do so, but I'm up for the challenge. I kicked off my classes by creating a charter of sorts, asking the kids to ponder for a few minutes what traits make for an effective teacher, and what makes for an effective student. Kind of big ideas for the pre-teen set, I know, but I wanted to see where it would go. The youngest kid in the class is 8, and the oldest is 14. (Yep, it's a multi-age, multi-level classroom. You can see how my mind boggles, right?)
They took the task quite seriously. After mulling over and jotting down what they thought were the most important attributes in teachers and students in order to make for a really great classroom, this is what they came up with (click on the photo to see a larger version):
How relieved am I to have just barely made that age cut-off. WHEW!