Monday, September 08, 2008

Stuck In The Middle

Way back in the distant past, in a year called 2000, I completed Graduate School.  It was a high point for me.  And I made myself a little promise upon receiving that very expensive piece of paper.  I said to myself, "Sheepie...you are done teaching Middle School!"

I'd been teaching at the middle level for a very long time and felt that the whole thing had been done to death.  I was ready for a change.  Something new.  Something different.  I like to switch things up every now and again.  I was done with Middle School!

So you can imagine my joy at being told I was going to be transferred to The Bad Job At The Middle School That No One Else Wants And Which We Desperately Need You To Take Over And Fix Because We Have Screwed It Up Beyond All Belief.  

You probably heard my cries.  You might have mistaken them for happiness.  I was faking it.

Middle School is a tricky time for kids and even more tricky for those who have to educate them.  The scheduling is weird because there is no other way to cover all the things that need doing.  The curriculum is intense.  There are lots of duties because Middle School kids are really quite adept at finding new and interesting ways of wreaking havoc.  You sort of need to be one step ahead of them if there is any hope of the building remaining standing.  And then there are the dances...they expect you to chaperone them.  For free.  Gah!

Ironically, I happen to be rather good at teaching Middle School kids.  I sort of "get" them.  Witness this conversation from the second day of school which begins with my expression of displeasure over a student's choice of behavior:

Ms. Sheep:  Dude...seriously?  

Student Who Has Never Met Me Before This Year:  Excuse me...did she just say, "Dude?"

Student Who Has Had Me As His Teacher Since Fourth Grade And Is No Longer Surprised When He Sees Me At His New School Because He Thinks I Am Stalking Him:  Yeah...she's cool like that.

And it never takes long for administrators to catch on to the fact that I might be their Middle School Savior.  So I'm back to teaching Middle School.  Again.  The good news is that Middle School teachers are pretty serious about their contracts so I am finally getting a lunch break where I can do a little knitting and relax without the presence of bickering children.  This is the first time in five years I've been able to do that.  I may even get that sock done...

That might make the whole transfer worth it.  Maybe.  It certainly is nice to have an actual lunch break, I must admit.  But, to be frank, I think the best strategy in this sort of situation is simply keeping my sense of humor.  Seeing the potential for the funny in life is really what has kept me from donning a tinfoil hat and wearing mismatched slippers up to this point.  

Here's a picture that will help me in that endeavor, I think.  It requires a little set up, though.  You need to know that it is not one of those shots that you "just happen to catch."  I had ample time to come into the living room, burst out laughing, recover, get the camera, focus, laugh again, and then have to start all over.  That is a very long time for this sort of pose to be held.  






And that is why it is so funny.


SA

21 comments:

Carrie K said...

Is that 21st Century version of a Knight's helmet? Cute!

Your craft fair day sounded better than your school day, although it does seem as if you have them firmly in hand. And can knit at lunch.

Mia said...

sheepie, you are so funny! But really.. I am so sorry. I did raise two "difficult" middle school boys and I feel your pain (well, kinda *grin* and kinda glad I'm past that!).

But lunch hours ARE nice!

Tina T-P said...

Hi - popped over here from Leigh's Fiber Journal - enjoy your blog - cats and spinning - what more could you ask? (well, maybe crochet - but your knitting is pretty - and you like pink...)

I have the utmost respect for you -my sister taught Middle School for almost 40 years - eeek! I don't have children, so my only contact with MS kids is limited - you people have to be nuts to do it - but the good ones are jewels in the crown of heaven, I think.

Nice blog - As Arnold said in The Terminator - "I'll be back" -
:-) T.

Kris said...

I love the pose. Underneath that you just know he thinks he is rather dignified.

Kath said...

Dude - you get lunch breaks? And next you'll be telling me they give you potty breaks too? But does chaperoning dances mean you have to go out at night? Like when it's dark??? I think AGK might object.

trek said...

Dude, cool post.
Good cat picture.


Seriously, dude.


PS - I just volunteered today to coach the 4th - 8th grade cross country teams at Neatnik's school. Have I mentioned lately that Neatnik is in the first grade? What was I thinking?

Jeanne said...

Dude. Stuck in the middle with you. (Song keeps playing in my head!) Well, it's because you do it so well. The Universe decided that's where you need to be.

At least you have the AGK and his Crown of Magnificence to come home to. That is one weird cat!

Laureen said...

I think I'll stay teaching college. (Even tho I am STILL here until 9:50pm. Yuck) Good luck with the middle kids.

Mouse said...

He is apparently the coolest, fluffiest kitty in all the land. We won't spoil it for him by laughing.. or in my case, snorting my tea. Also, I have that song stuck in my head now..

Julie said...

That is one seriously disturbed kitty; no wonder you two get along so well ;-)

Karen said...

Is that the kitty equivalent to a lamp shade? AGK is the life of the party.

Anne said...

Are you sure AGK hasn't escaped from some sort of kitty middle school? Reminds me of the 7th grader who stashed himself in my dad's school-room trashcan for almost half a class period.....

Donna Lee said...

I taught middle school for a while. And while they are at a very difficult age (especially the kids who have school trouble) they are interesting as they try out their new ideas and thoughts. I like high school kids, too. They are just testing their wings and aren't afraid to say what's on their mind. So different from adults.

Cursing Mama said...

I certainly prefer adults to middle school kids but there is this weird vibe where I am able to communicate with them....except for my own kids - those I still don't get.

Alwen said...

I dunno, a tinfoil hat and mismatched slippers - that sounds like a look I could shoot for and actually achieve.

That cat photo just begs for an LOLcats caption.

knitseashore said...

What a sweetie. He knows you've had a hard day and was just waiting for you to find him so he could make you laugh. Sweet orange boys are like that. :)

April said...

The AGK is a very *special* kitty. But special in a GOOD way. I think that picture pretty much guarantees him Best Cat On The Internet status.

Ronni said...

I'm glad you are supposed to get a lunch break. Here's hoping you actually get to take all the rest of them.

And AGK? OMG I could die from the cute. I may show up out there insisting on getting to cuddle him sometime. He's too cute!

kmkat said...

The rest of the accountants are wondering why I am laughing hysterically over here in my cube.

Pets. They are fun and educational. Well, okay, maybe not so much the educational, but they sure are entertaining.

crzjane said...

Hey Dude, that is one crazy cat! Love him!

Chris said...

Goofy kitty!