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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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The difference...?
Old 06-03-2017, 12:48 AM
 
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During a recent conversation with an experienced principal, he said, "If you like tapping into and focusing energy, work in middle school. If you like breaking down barriers, work in high school."

Of course, all generalities are false, but I thought it was an interesting observation on relating to kids.


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Definitely
Old 06-03-2017, 02:04 AM
 
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I wonder if that's from a book or if it's based out of his own experience. What would he say about grade schoolers?
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:45 AM
 
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I like it!
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:28 AM
 
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I also wondered what he'd say about grade schoolers. Those, I think, would have to be considered as two groups: K-2 and 3-5.

Middle schoolers, bless their little cotton socks, are just too drama-oriented for me. Kinders are cute, but they have the attention span of gnats.

When I taught full time, I was a traveling teacher, and my caseload included K-12 students. Working with the high schoolers was really enjoyable, because you could relate to them on more of an adult level. They were capable of intelligent discussion and understood subtle humor. That was one-on-one teaching, so I really got to know them, rather than the persona they put forth when they were with a group of their peers. I'm interested to know what others have to say about teaching a classroom full of them. I don't have the nerve.
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:02 PM
 
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I personally prefer middle school, especially 6th and 7th grade. By then kids are beyond tattling, don't require micromanaging, and haven't yet acquired the surly, rude know-it-all attitude I've come to expect in high school.


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Correct!
Old 06-03-2017, 09:40 PM
 
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Your response is spot on!!
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The littles...
Old 06-04-2017, 01:13 AM
 
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He's not had grade school experience... but I once had a principal "act out" the responses to seeing her by age groups. It was hysterical. For the littles she jumped up and down and yelled, "Mrs. O! Mrs. O!" As she progressed through the ages there was less and less enthusiasm... by the time she got to high school it was barely a shoulder shrug.

I see the same thing. The little guys think I'm really cool. I suspect the older kids do, but they don't show it--particularly when they're in a group. As Mooba1 said, though, one-on-one can be awesome with the older kids. Just yesterday at a school activity I had a high schooler share that her sister had attempted suicide last weekend. No one else at school (teachers/staff) knew about it. I think it was based on our history and the fact that I saw her alone and started a conversation.

I do lots with K-6, very little with high school. When I do work at the high school I feel like the kids are reasonable in class. There may be some good-natured joking and "tricks," but no serious management issues. I think part of the challenge for them is to figure out how to relate to different adults. Because I know most of them, it's easier for them?
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Old 06-05-2017, 04:39 PM
 
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Here's how I see the different grades from a day to day subbing perspective:

K-1 very needy
2-3 able to focus and do more work, lots of fun
4-5 So much girl drama/hormones
6-7 very high energy/distractible
8-9 not wanting to do the work and being very loud about how awful it is they have to do anything/lots of hormonal craziness from all students
10-11 at this point, they're either in the "want to be here (or at least want to get a degree to go to college etc) and focused camp" or the "hate everything about this place and refuse to do anything camp". There's a few in the middle who haven't decided how they feel about stuff yet.
12th grade: They're over the bureaucracy, over being in the "waiting room" that is high school and just want to get on with their lives, whatever their plans may be. Generally very chill and don't cause problems. Even if they don't want to work they're quiet about it.
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:51 AM
 
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I think the experience of the different grade levels is going to vary a lot, depending on the school, and depending on whether you're a principal, ft teacher, or substitute. I've also found that it really depends on you as a person. What age level resonates with you?

I've tried subbing everything from K through 12th. Although I connected with a few kids at HS and middle school level, overall, I found high school and middle school kids can be standoffish and generally dismissive or even brutal to substitute teachers.

My best teaching experiences have been with elementary, K-4th (5th is already too "pre-teen.") I enjoy being nurturing and playful, so for me, the Kinders can be a lot of fun. I also enjoy guiding the 4th graders through more meaty academics and watching their faces light up when they understand or "get" how to do something.

The K-4th grade kids don't make an issue of my being a "substitute teacher." They are young enough that they still look to adults for help and guidance. These kids recognize that I enjoy and connect with them and appreciate that I will put in the extra effort to help them.
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Old 06-06-2017, 02:26 PM
 
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Good analyses, and funny.
I also prefer high school for the same reasons you posted. After having worked middle school for so long, that group has fallen from grace, they are a little more than I'm willing to deal with at this point, but that won't last forever.

Nothing gets you moving and on your toes like thirty-five 7th graders with a substitute teacher!
I love 'em, but can only take them in small doses

MY JOKE IS:
Yes, I remember having substitutes when I was in middle school, and now God is paying me back


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