Monday, March 5, 2012

Tales from Substitute Teaching

Would you go back to middle school or junior high?


I didn't think so.

You see, since I embarked on this new journey and started a new career in education, I made it my small mission to teach at all the schools in the main school district in Des Moines. Why? I don't know. I guess because I like to check things off of lists and I wanted to see what it was like at all of those schools. Plus, you never know who you might meet and who will be a bridge later on, right? Doing this has really let me see what I like and don't like inside of different school buildings. It's been adventure and it may sound nerdy, but I love checking another school off my list of schools I have worked at.

In the year and a half of substitute teaching I have subbed at my high school several times, but haven't built up enough nerve to sub at my middle school. (I can't sub in elementary until I'm licensed for k-5)

This changed on Friday and I finally worked in my old middle school. Yes, I went back to middle school. I was equal parts nervous and excited. The school has changed A LOT since I was there, but even back then it was kind of rough. Today it is even rougher.

As soon as I walked in, my stomach turned to a ball of nerves and I kind of wanted to throw up.

I hated middle school. I was chubby, wore glasses, had crooked teeth and a bad perm. No, I am not exaggerating. Also? My best friend moved away after 6th grade so on top of being unfortunate looking, I was alone. Dramatic, much? I know.

In middle school, all I wanted was to be popular. Typical, right? I can still remember that feeling of knowing that that wasn't what really mattered in life, but still feeling like that's what I wanted so bad. I can remember in my English class there was this poster that said, "What's popular isn't always right; and what's right isn't always popular." I'm sure every school has that poster.

Looking back now at those people that were popular... Well, I'm glad I wasn't popular now. In middle school I just hadn't blossomed yet. Much like a lot of people in those years.

The day of subbing went okay. There wasn't anything that I wasn't already expecting. I broke up a fight before it became physical, I took some verbal assaults (one girl told me my sweater dress was too short - I was wearing leggings, don't worry), and another girl laughed at me when I said her name wrong. Yep, that's middle school. ;)

I don't miss being IN middle school one bit, but I'm glad I went back for the day.

What was your middle years like? Would going back be a nightmare for you, like it was me?


Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

"in middle school I hadn't blossomed yet" - such a good way to put it! I didn't truly "blossom" until my second year of college. I wish I could go back and tell my middle school and high school self to slow down and take it easy, the best was yet to come. I wanted SO bad to be popular back then. Looking at where the "popular" kids are now, I'm so glad I wasn't!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Well, I went to one school for K-12, so I don't really have distinctive memories of middle school since it wasn't a time of life accompanied with a new school... that said, I just hated school in general after 6th grade. I mean, I loved the learning aspect, but the social aspect was not good for me. I was not good at sports and in a small town, that meant you were not popular. I really did not make 'real' friends (besides my cousin) until I went to college. So I have no fond memories of my old school and I would HATE to return there!

I think it's great that you can 'try' all these different schools! I think it will help to be familiar w/ them when you start looking for jobs!!

MK said...

Middle school was terrible but I hated high school. I was the first to get accepted to college in November of my senior year and all I wanted to do was get the heck out. Kids are so mean!

Stephany said...

Middle school was the worst 3 years of my life. I'm not sure I could handle being back on that campus because it was a really bad time for me. My parents had just divorced, my mom was depressed and not really "available" for me, and I felt so uncomfortable in my skin. I had my own circle of friends, I don't think I was as concerned with being popular... I just wanted to be noticed by my crushes! hehe. :)

But I'm glad you were able to put all your past issues aside to sub there and make it through!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I still haven't blossomed yet.

We only had a 7-12 grade school, but I guess middle is usually 6th, 7th and 8th? So for me it was one year of being top dog at my K-6 school and then two years of being unsure of myself. My school was so small though; we only had about 600 students total (7-12), so everyone knew everyone and you knew everyone's brothers and sisters and parents. There was still the need to be popular, but I didn't feel a horrible pressure from it. I got picked on, but that is what 12 and 13 yr olds do, right?

Becky said...

Ohhh middle school! Just....yeah. It's the ugly duckling stage of everyone's life and some just get through it more gracefully than others. And I totally remember that "I want to be popular even though it doesn't really matter" feeling too!

P.S. I think middle school teachers are the bravest ones!

p S h A o R t A o said...

I enjoyed middle school for the most part. I went to a grade 5-6 school and loved 6th grade for the field trips, friends, having a few classes with different teachers for the first time, being on the honor roll, and started to develop a passion for art.

After that I went on to a 6-8th grade school for 7/8th. Friends changed a lot but for the better, got involved in sport (basketball and cheerleading) etc. I didn't feel like I had to be popular since I got along with the "popular crowd" and had my own group of close friends. It just worked really well.

Mrs Xenos said...

I'm totally with ya blog sistah! Middle school was so awkward....and if anyone doesn't agree, they are full of it. I would be a ball of nerves as well. And wait to have thick skin with the bratty comments! I could never cut it as a teacher....I have too much of a potty mouth. I'd get fired real quick!

Shoshanah said...

Middle School definitely had it's ups and downs for me. But if I had to repeat either high school or middle school, I think I'd still go with middle school.

Peter said...

Oh man, not junior high.

I would barely talk to girls. And when I did manage to do it... so not smooth.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I would not go back to the middle school I was in. I was sent to a private middle school and while I got a good education there, the social scene was NOT that great.

Wiz said...

My mom is a middle school teacher and I dont know how she does it! She teaches at the middle school I went to with some of the same teachers that I had. My middle school experience wasnt too bad but I still wouldnt want to go back!