20 take away 16 is four. I’ve been driving for four years. 20 take away 18 is two. I’ve completed two full years of college, working on my third year. Of all the milestones in my life, being called “Ms. Carey” by a pack of middle school students has been one of them. The high schoolers tend to think that when I’m at a teacher assistant assignment that I’m “The Man” coming to observe, so they don’t talk to me.
However, middle school students are curious little creatures. They want to know everything. Where do you go to school? Do I have to take Calculus to be a doctor? Can I get into your college? Where do you go to church? Have you read this book? Why are you sitting there? Are you going to be a teacher? What is your opinion on string theory and time travel?
I’ve been asked all of these questions and I’m waiting for the last one to pop up any day now. In the meantime, today I taught a lesson on the importance of research and avoiding plagiarism. These kids were sharp. They knew their material, and actively participated in my activities. When I wanted them to get into clusters, they did. When I asked for examples of plagiarism, they spoke up.
However, every time I get in front of a class, I notice how different the view is. Kids look younger, even the high school seniors that were freshman the year I graduated. They should all be wearing diapers and playing in a fenced off area of the room. Needless to say, the students today were eighth graders, the top of the middle school food chain, probably unaware of the vastness of high school.
I saw the eager students, the one in the corner that was probably counting down the minutes until I would shut up, and the others that were paying attention probably because they felt they had to. Overall, teaching has been a wonderful experience. I love the classroom (middle, secondary, college level), and intend on living out my days passing on what I’ve learned from others. No, not every classroom is perfect and not every child or young adult is eager to learn, but the fact that there is a profession dedicated to helping others discover something outside of themselves makes life worth living. And that’s what makes the life and times of me, Ms. Carey, crazy yet satisfying.
“…serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” -1 Peter 4:10 (NRSV)