For the last five years I supported first grade English Language Learner (ELL) students. Although that is not my favorite age, they are pretty cute and they love learning. Plus they still want to please the teacher.
But the new job I have accepted is at a middle school!
That's right, I will be supporting 11-14 year old students as they learn English. Students of this age are not always interested in learning or in pleasing the teacher anymore. However, they are cute in a different way and they understand shades of gray in a conversation. There are positives to focus on.
For a good portion of the day, though, I will have my own classroom and will be teaching newcomers. The principal stated that the school has over thirty students that are completely new to the country and possibly new to school. That will be a big difference for me.
The rest of the day, I will be co-teaching content area classes, like science and math. Thinking about teaching middle school math makes my head explode. Luckily, one of the young women I was with in California has offered to tutor me if I need it.
So it is very likely that during the next year I will be spending much more time working. Working smarter as well, I hope. My dilemma is likely to be how to write and continue to have a life while at the same time being an awesome teacher. I'll have to find a balance.