About five months. Or, perhaps more accurately, when you get shoved against your will into a new classroom. Today is my first day teaching my new sixth grade classes, and frankly, yawn. When I remember how intense my first week was with my old eighth grade class, I blink lazily like a crocodile on the banks of a muddy river, and feel like that version of me was fifteen years old. The excitement, the novelty, the fun, even, is gone.
Now, this is in large part because I got cut from the class I had invested myself in and thrown in with this new lot of kids. Is it their fault? No. But I can’t be bothered to want more right now then discipline and for them to work. Good teaching, I have discovered, requires a large emotional investment on your part. You have to care, to want them to succeed, to go the extra mile when your school administration leaves you hanging. And right now, dropped as I am into this new classroom and with the old teacher potentially coming back in a month or so, I just don’t have the emotional energy to spare.
So. Sorry, sixth graders. I just finished fighting a four month battle with my 8th graders, and had finally won their respect and affection. I don’t have the oomph to start cold right from the beginning. So I’ll demand that you listen, demand that you work, and call your parents if you get out of line. More than that? Maybe with time. But right now, eh.
(On a better note, a bunch of my 8th graders have been stopping in to say hi and tell me they already miss me. How nice is that?)