Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You just never know...

I love teaching, and I love middle schoolers. Combing the two, however, yields potentially hazardous results. No, I'm really exaggerating, but teaching middle schoolers IS an adventure, to say the least. You just never know what you're going to get from day to day. Some days are great - the kids pay attention, are respectful, and work hard. Other days, I'm doing good to keep them awake. With some kids, it's an accomplishment if they remember their own name.

 Yesterday was tough. Two of my class periods had significant difficulty with the activity we did in class. This might have been understandable if we were diagramming sentences, doing calculus problems or researching word etymologies. In reality, we were reading picture books (which were on a 3rd grade reading level). Several times I seriously contemplated banging my head on the white board. If it would have helped relieve my anguish or motivate the kids, I would have done it. Really. I came home discouraged about my ability (or lack thereof) to teach and worried about the kids' performance. Today, on the other hand, was different.

I suspect that offering Jolly Ranchers for good behavior and correct answers played a role, but nevertheless, the kids paid attention and actually tried today. Granted, some tried and failed, but at least they put forth some effort. Today was a good day, but I never know what tomorrow will bring...


  1. I know...I hear this all the time from Randy. Some days you endure and some are a joy!

  2. I understand. Each week I bribe my first and second graders with extra recess.

  3. I hand out M&Ms, Skittles, tootsie rolls, mini marshmallows, goldfish crackers, whatever I can find to keep kids awake, quiet, on task, etc. Gotta do what you gotta do to get the job done.