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July 4, 2024

I Moved to Middle School

Once again I disappeared for a few years. Sorry about that. I had a good reason. I decided to change grade levels and move to middle school. Specifically to 8th grade teaching ELA and History. 

Yep. Kind of crazy.

And also really really hard. 

3 years ago we had a huge sub shortage (like a lot of other places). We had vacancies in 6,7, and 8th grade. During the 3rd week of school I was called to go and fill in when my 5th graders were in PE. It was a history lesson on the Boston Massacre. 

I left that day wondering who was going to get the kids, my old kids, ready for high school. My own sons were in high school, and they were doing a great job- but that is also because they were prepared. Those 8th graders entire middle school had been a wacky one with the shut down in 6th, distance learning in 7th, and starting the year in vacancy. 

I started praying for them every time I saw them walk by my window. Send someone Lord. And after 3 weeks of praying my heart said “Why not you?” 

Of course I thought that was a crazy idea. I was happy and content in 5th. I loved my class. I knew what I was doing. I knew what to expect. 

I tried to talk myself out of it. I made a pro/con list. I asked questions to the 8th grade teachers. I talked to my best buds. All looking for reasons why this was a really bad idea. My husband asked if I was ready to just talk to my admin, and I said I was waiting for more confirmation. That night we went out on a date (6th week of school), when we were there a stranger stopped by the table, looked at me, and said that “God won’t leave you in the mess, He would lead me to the blessings in my next position.” I burst into tears, knew it was the confirmation I needed and emailed my admin. 

The talk with my admin went really easily. The ball was in her court. I would be content either way. But the need was evident, these 8th graders were on their last year at our k-8 school, the countdown was on. And supposedly it’s easier to find elementary teachers than middle school.

I switched at the end of the trimester. I don’t recommend a mid year switch. Especially packing up a classroom, while finishing up assessments, doing report cards, setting up a new classroom in 6 hours, etc. But it all worked out. 

Random info:
-I knew these kids. I had most of these kids back in 5th grade and would know most of them in the coming years as well. 
-I’m teaching my favorite subjects. Ela and history… 
-I get to work with 3 different groups of kids. About 80 total.
-I doubled my prep time each day. Yeah, that’s a pro.
-A LOT less planning.
-A lot less prepping. I just make 68 copies of the activity.
-I still got to read my novels with my elective class.
-Way back when I was a youth pastor’s wife, I’m used to middle school. 

8th graders are a lot like 5th graders. Just taller and with a bit of attitude. It’s like their hormones have evened out again and most have their act together. 

So that’s that. I’m an 8th grade teacher now. 

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