Placements and Concerns: Blog as Self-Therapy

September 8, 2007 at 7:45 pm 1 comment

It begins to look as though I’ll be working with DR and her tenth graders all year, which is just fine with me. I really like DR and the things she is doing with her class, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids to work with. Ideally I’d like to teach between 7th and 11th grade, and this fits nicely in that category. Plus, you can’t complain about working with accelerated kids. You get to do such interesting things, and discipline really isn’t an issue…

Which, of course, is an issue in and of itself.

There are three of us working at CHS: Debbie, Dan, and myself. For whatever reason, I feel a bit intimidated by the D’s. They’ve both got more classroom experience than I, have a few more years between themselves and the students than I, and – big surprise – seem a bit more comfortable in front of the students. They’re also currently substitute teachers, which has to be a leg up – especially since they’ve both had the opportunity to sub for their mentor teachers, which means they’ve already gotten to teach full days of the material.

And I’m not complaining. I can’t do anything about my amount of experience or my age, and I can’t afford to substitute this year. I need every hour I can get as an intern (subbing hours don’t count) and I have to work on my non-CHS days. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it makes me feel a bit insecure. I worry that I am sitting in DR’s room “hiding” from the “real school” with the accelerated kids, and consequently learning less than my peers.

I know that this isn’t the case. I’m learning a lot, and I know a lot already. I know more than I’m exhibiting. And that’s the concern: I worry about how it looks.

I never have been very good at selling myself. Am I looking scared and hesitant to my mentors?

Because, seriously – give me a class, and I’m all over that. I’m feeling increasingly confident that I know how to be a teacher. I’m just worried that I don’t know how to be a student teacher.

I’m tangenting from my intended point, which was that I will probably be working with tenth graders all year unless BR can get me some time with a junior high. But do I even want junior high?

There’s an unfortunate part of my personality that buys into the last thing to which I’m exposed. Give me two alternatives, and I like the one I hear last best. Now that I’m working with high school, I begin to feel more and more like I prefer it to junior high. Of course, put me in a junior high, and I may be re-sold in that direction. But in senior high, you can do Shakespeare! You can do classics! You can talk – albeit very, very carefully – about sex and violence and real life! You can do research and PowerPoint and Web 2.0! Are junior high kids up to that level?

In other placement news, my husband is entering what they call Block I. Mr. Bees is working toward certification to teach secondary government and history. He’s not an English person (although he’s a helluva writer) and he’s had absolutely zero classroom experience, so you can imagine how stressed out he is to learn that he’s been placed at an area high school’s ELL (English Language Learner) lab for the semester. For the next several months he’ll be tutoring non-native speakers, probably one-on-one, and I think he’s a bit horrified. I used to work at the college writing center, where our main clients were always ELL students. It’s hard, hard, stressful work, and it takes an awful lot of patience and – at times – innovative thinking. I guess it’s a pretty good thing to do to Block I pre-teachers; this assignment could easily scare off people who were mistakenly attracted to the profession.

He’s going to do an awesome job, and he’s going to love it – maybe not Block I, but the adventures to come – but if you can send some good vibes his way I imagine they’d go to good use.

If there’s anyone out there reading this, what do you think about junior high vs. senior high English?


Entry filed under: MR. BEES. Tags: , , .

Tales from High School! Fun Stuff

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kit  |  September 11, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I can’t imagine anyone wanting to teach junior high. Maybe that is why they could benefit from an excellent teacher like you.

    You will probably change your mind more than once, but I have always seen you at the high school, even college level, where you could engage your students. I’m not sure the junior high mind, or at least the average junior high student, would appreciate your enthusiasm for the written word.

    Mr. Bees has all my good thoughts heading his way. I can’t wait. He will be amazing, maybe not in ELL, although I agree that he’ll do a good job there, but I can’t think of anyone who will make a better government teacher.


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

I am striving to maintain anonymity on this blog so that I may more freely interact with my fellow edubloggers. If you know who I am, please help me protect my anonymity in your comments. I use pseudonyms or initials for everyone I write about to preserve their anonymity as well.

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