This is my first year as a junior high teacher. I have learned a lot about myself and teenagers. I have self-reflected this entire school year. This ended up with a list of things I learned about myself and the others around me.
Here are the top 10 things I have learned as a junior high teacher:
10. Junior High is hard. All the kids are trying to find their identity. They are learning how to fit in the world around them. They are exploring new areas of their life that they never knew existed before.
9. I am a counselor everyday. I have my master’s in counseling. I was unable to find a job in that field. I went back into the classroom. I do more counseling in this position as a junior high teacher than I did in grad school. The skills I learned there, I use every single day.
8. Girls and boys create drama. The stereotype is that girls are all drama. I have learned in fact that both sexes contribute to drama. The students again are trying to find themselves. They are going act in ways their parents have never seen before and test their limits. This causes drama with each other, parents and teachers.
7. Teachers are super heroes. I am not a super hero. My co-workers are the real super heroes. They put in countless hours that are unpaid. Teachers are the overworked, underpaid heroes of the world.
6. You should smile all the time. Smile at the students and say “hello” as you pass them in the hallway. Give random students high-five’s. Talk to each student and love on them. You never know that just might make their day a little better.
5. The more experienced teachers can be helpful, if you are willing to listen. You have to be willing to take feedback and use what you can from it. The feedback may be good, bad or invaluable. I have learned so much from my fellow co-workers.
4. The administration can make or break a building. An administration can build the rapport with the staff and students. They can aide in your professional development and help you become better.
3. Not everyone is your friend. This is a general rule in life. Not everyone on your staff is looking out for your best interest. Find the people that look out for each other and surround yourself with those people.
2. I am not strong without God. I have been torn down by man to be built back up by God. I have gained wisdom in areas that I thought I understood and depths of love that I never knew possible.
1. The students need to know you care about them. They won’t remember the math problem, the book, the grammar taught, but they will remember if you liked them. They will remember if you cared about them and loved them. They will remember if you wanted to be there.
I love my students and parents. I love my school and co-workers. But I have had some bumps in the road. I have learned some hard lessons and cried a lot. I have learned that I will never stop growing as a person. I have learned, I love being a junior high teacher.