Entering a junior high setting after working in an elementary school since August was quite exciting. Junior high was very different from any elementary school and it even had a different feel from middle schools I had been in. The fact that this school is all 7th, 8th and 9th graders made it have more of a high school feeling. They all seemed to know where they were going and did not take much extra interest in any of the adults present. This was a stark difference from elementary school in which all of the students want to talk to the teachers and are very excited by new adults in the room. The junior high students did very well following the set up routines. Besides a few students who trickled in right at the bell, the majority of the students were sitting in their desks by the time the bell rang. Another thing that struck me as interesting was how dynamic all of the student's lives were. Elementary students also have very dynamic lives but these junior high students have complicated social lives, mixed in with varying family lives, and extra-curricular activities, on top of the fact that they are reaching a pivotal time in making sure they are well prepared for high school and college. Our cooperating teacher told us about students who had boyfriend problems that were effecting their grades, she told us about students who are practically raising families on their own, she talked about students who had recently moved to the country and had not spent any time prior to middle school in a structured school setting. Despite all the circumstances the students were brilliant. They were very good at higher order thinking and while looking at their work I realized they all had very insightful thoughts and were able to see the bigger picture of things. It was great to see how different these students were in comparison to the elementary students I had been working with.
My First Day in Junior High
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