This is my first year teaching middle school. I have two preps, 6th grade math and Pre-algebra. The material is so much easier than anything I have ever taught in high school before. So, why am I working so hard?
It is because when you switch subject areas or grade, it is like starting all over again. The workload is like being a first-year teacher all over again! Thank goodness I am NOT a first year teacher and do not have the stress of figuring out how to manage a classroom. Whew.
As a teacher, when you change subjects or grade areas it is a mountain of work. You have no lessons on file for every day of the 180 day school year. You have no activities, no tests, not a thing. Yes, we are usually left files from former teachers, and of course we have a book. But, that isn’t really that helpful. Even if you get a million ideas from the book, past teachers, the internet and Twitter Tweeps, that still isn’t teaching. And, there is so much more work to be done.
Teaching is planning at least three different activities for each different subject that you have, every day. For example, today in 7th grade we:
1) Did a warm-up
2) Taught a lesson
3) Did an activity pertaining to the lesson
Tomorrow I will:
1) Give a quiz (that I had to make, and then copy)
2) Teach a short lesson
3) Teach them how to play a game that I created (and wrote the instructions for in a Word document, and then made copies of).
4) Plan a short lesson for several students that need extra help instead of playing the game.
5) Send them home with a worksheet that I (thankfully) found, but still have to make the answer key for and them make the copies.
And that is just in one class. I still have 6th grade to do all of the same things for, everyday. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. In fact, I LOVE what I do! I love creating fun games and coming up with great activities that the students will not only (hopefully) love, but will learn a lot from as well. When all of this work is done I am so happy. Because when I am in the classroom and I see the results I know it is all worth it. I love teaching math.
I just wish I had more time. And, I can’t wait until NEXT year when I have the time to make it all so much better!