This past summer, I left the English classrooms of the middle school (6th grade) for the "august" halls of high school (9th grade). Sadly, that means I can no longer serve as Middle School Representative for WILLA; until they appoint a new rep at November's annual meeting, I will use this column to share some of my initial reactions to the change, meanwhile hoping that WILLA can find me a new place in their Assembly. My two years' association with these dynamic and involved women has convinced me that their work is not only essential for gender equity, women's place in education, et. al., but also stimulating to me personally, as I work toward becoming a better teacher (that endless task we all embrace).
The change from middle school to high school teaching has, for me, more pluses than minuses, although I have heard and read of quite different reactions. I prefer the atmosphere here, despite some loss of student energy (there was plenty of that in middle school!) The interest the high school students show in challenges they meet, pleases me more than the enthusiasm of the 6th graders. The workload is a great deal harder, I believe, but the energy output is a great deal easier. I so appreciate the task of the middle school teacher, and know many in my former school who thrived on that wonderful air of devotion and love that envelopes many of them every day. The hard-working middle school teacher paves the way for the 9th grade teacher -- my students are well prepared for the high school classroom. Thanks to all of them.
I've so enjoyed my tenure as Middle School Rep -- I hope to continue to support the fine work of WILLA in any capacity they wish.
Reference Citation: Dolan, Maureen. (2002). "A Personal Journey from Middle School to High School." WILLA, Volume 11, p. 18.