After 22 years of secondary level teaching (20 at the high school level, 2 at the middle school level) teaching (primarily) third and fourth grade is almost a complete career change. While I do have a sixth and seventh grade English language arts class (which I absolutely enjoy), I spend most of my day working with much younger students.
The biggest difference is in the day to day interaction with my students (at both levels). One of the aspects I’ve developed over the years of working with high school students is a somewhat protective “shell” over my inner self, as have the students. Sincere glimpses into my inner life or that of my students at the high school level were rare; I mostly developed a rather facetious attitude in many ways, finding that a dose of flippancy was sufficient for many situations around that more vulnerable Self.
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