Monday, June 10, 2013

What fresh hell is this? Ninth grade...

Well, the end of my third year has finally arrived.  I now have "tenure" or continuing contract status.  Basically, this means I have a level of job security I did not previously have and I'm no longer on probation.  I am really proud to share that I had a fantastic review and received an "exemplary" rating in two out of seven categories (and apparently, Admin was told to be very sparing in giving them out).  Of course, with any pro there is a con, and the con is that I have been asked to teach 9th grade next year, the one grade I swore I would never teach. 

When I first found out, I was absolutely horrified.  I'm not a fan of middle schoolers, and our 9th graders are typically low on the maturity spectrum.  I ran in a panic to my administrator and said, "Ninth grade?!  WHY?!  Am I being punished?"*  I was buttered up with all kinds of compliments about my teaching and leadership skills and next thing ya know, I agreed to do it (not that I really had a choice).

There are some plus sides.  There is no 9th grade English SOL, thus eliminating that nightmare and my yearly SOL-induced breakdown.  I will be teaching honors for the first time and I am excited about that (although who knows what "honors" really means with this population).  Even though I will have to start all over yet again with lesson plans, I really like the text book.  I have unilaterally hated the other three from previous years.   I will be upstairs, which is much more quiet (downside, it is notoriously hot up there).  With a new principal, there is a slight, SLIGHT, possibility that these kids may actually come in a little nervous and inclined to "respect mah authoritah."  Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention closer proximity to my buddy Mr. W., who promises me that I will love 9th graders.

All in all, this has been a great year, with great kids.  As usual, I learned way more from them than they ever learned from me (especially if you look at their SOL scores!). I also maintain that my school has some of the finest educators in the business.  It takes a very specific type of person to work with that population  successfully and actually ENJOY it.  What a devoted, talented, crazy bunch I have the honor of working with!

Adios and Vaya con Dios
As for my summer plans, I plan on reading many trashy books, relishing sleeping in past 6:00 a.m. (if the dogs let me), and hopefully having my toes in the water and ass in the sand, so I can be ready for next year.

Life is good today. 

*Let me just say that having two of my own children go through those precious middle school years, were some of the worst of my parenting experience.  There is something very annoying, and faintly stinky, about middle schoolers. 

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