So once again I
fly frantic from task to task
while wondering why
There's a strange paradox with this blog. I'm more likely to update on weeks when I am a ball of stress bouncing around the tennis court of life than on weeks when I sit sedentary in front of the TV for hours. Case in point, last week, I took no subbing jobs, did no writing, and couldn't be bothered to update. This week, I've worked hard at four subbing jobs (6th grade middle schoolers and high school), got significant work done on three stories, cleaned the kitchen, and am now frantically typing this blog between printing documents and researching agents.
Last week, I was burned out. When I burn out, I burn out hard.
This week, I was recharged. When I recharge, I get things done.
* * *
It finally clicked in my head the difference between elementary school students and high school students while subbing at Valadez Middle School earlier this week. With elementary school, the first thing you do is give them the rules of behavior. With high school students, the first thing you do is give them their assignments.
This may sound silly, but you win or lose the students in the first 5 minutes of class. Elementary school students need a system in place so that they know how to act, what procedures are in place, and what the consequences will be for bad behavior. Without this, they either assume there are no rules and go crazy or they get very anxious about what they are supposed to be doing.
High school students, however, have largely internalized these rules, so going over things like listening to the substitute when she is speaking is largely redundant. They need to know what their assignment will be so that they can get to work on it.
I find these two rules to be indicative of elementary and high school at large. Elementary school is more behavior-focused while high school is more work-focused. Junior high is tricky, because the students are in the process of transitioning from one to the other.