Teaching Angsty Teens

Teaching is difficult. Those who think that teaching is an easy gig with a lot of holidays have never been alone in a classroom full of children or teenagers who they have to attempt to teach.

When I was assigned a high school this year I was nervous. I’ve never worked with this age group and I don’t have the slightest urge to. My place is in a kindergarten classroom, singing silly songs and using puppets. I am a firm, firm believer in early childhood education and the importance of the founding years that will shape the rest of my students’ lives. So, put in a high school where I teach ages 12-17 and where I am back in the world of hierarchy, social groups, outcasts, etc., and all the patience that I have for my five year olds vanishes.

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This Is Why I Teach

My attitude towards my job has truly come full circle over the past several months. I went from absolutely hating the position I was in and feeling so miserable to feeling nothing but joy and pride at what my students and I have accomplished together since January.

In the beginning of the school year I was wondering how on Earth I would make it through all the way to May. My hands were tied behind my back in terms of what I was capable of doing in the classroom, I was soon engulfed in the negativity and laziness of my colleagues’ attitudes and the hard earned skills I had gained the year prior in an incredible classroom were slowly disappearing because they weren’t being put to use.

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Last Line of Defense

One of the hardest parts of being an assistant teacher is that at the end of the day, the head teacher makes the final call. You can work together fantastically and come up with some great ideas, but if the head teacher doesn’t agree, the class moves on.

My biggest struggle here is that in addition to being an assistant teacher, with no say whatsoever, working with teachers who only ask me to pronounce some words aloud, is that I am surrounded by teachers who, instead of serving as the last line of defense for their students, join the ranks of parents and families who do not support them.

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My First Day of School in Spain

Yesterday was my first day of school in Bailen as well as my first day at a language academy in Linares. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting but I definitely wasn’t expecting what I encountered in either situation.

I firmly believe that one of the biggest crimes in education is when “teachers” enter the field with absolutely no desire or passion to do so, nor any level of concern or dedication for the students. They do not deserve the title nor the position. Teaching is an art. It is one of the most difficult and demanding jobs out there that literally serves as a crucial contribution to society. We are tasked with raising our future leaders, people who will influence the direction of our global society.

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