Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Unexpected Happens

From 1999 to 2007, I taught sixth grade language arts. I have a degree in elementary education, and when I did my student teaching, I taught fourth grade. I really enjoyed fourth grade, and from that point on saw myself teaching an upper elementary grade level. After graduation, I interviewed at a few schools, but didn't have any luck finding a job. By mid July, I was feeling anxious about finding work, and just when I didn't think I was going to find anything, I was offered a job teaching sixth grade. I had never pictured myself teaching middle school. Middle Schoolers were awkward, obnoxious, hormone driven, pre teens, and I didn't think those were students I wanted to spend my days with.

But I was wrong.

I took that sixth grade teaching position thinking that I could do anything for one year. And after one year, I'd look for another job. What happened during that year, to my surprise, is that I fell in love with middle school. Yes, you heard me right. I fell in love with middle school. I decided that I actually liked those wide eyed, socially awkward, self conscious, sixth graders. I loved making them feel like they weren't lost somewhere between elementary and high school. That they were important. That they had opinions, dreams, and a lot of creative talent. And I loved focusing in on one subject, like English. Even if I taught the same lesson six times in one day. My eight years with those students were unpredictable, frustrating and yet also very rewarding.

So even though I never saw myself teaching middle school, sometimes the unexpected happens.

What are some unexpected things (or "happy mistakes") that have happened in your life?


K said...

This is a great story! We have some "unexpected" happening right now...we'll see where God leads us!

affectioknit said...

We love sixth graders around here too - I know what you mean about teaching - I taught High School for 5 years - and I really loved those teenagers too!

Emily said...

This blog title was not inspired in any way by Plan B One Step. Just saw a commercial for that and thought I'd clarify! Ha! :)

shanna said...

Middle School was so awkward for me. I would have loved having you as a teacher :) It would have made it a lot easier I am sure. I expected to be having babies for several more years, definitely not going to Africa. I went out of obedience...now, thanks to God, I am in love with the African people!