Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 10 2012

Moving on up

I think I just agreed to move up to 7th grade with my kids next year. Still have a few days to decide if that’s the greatest or worst idea ever.



*Seventh graders. That should really be enough of a con to stop me from doing anything. Seventh graders are squirrely and difficult. They’re too old to be sweet like sixth graders and too young to be functional like eighth graders. And their hormones are in full swing without any real ability to moderate themselves. I’m pretty sure it’s the worst age ever.

*No new start. What if my kids get sick of me? They love me this year, but the novelty is going to wear off. What if they stop being afraid of me? What if they realize my jokes aren’t actually funny?

*Workload. For the third time, I’d have to create an entire new curriculum at an entire new grade level. If I stay in 6th grade, I can spend the whole year teaching the same thing I’ve already taught. Helllllo, not working nights and weekends!



*My babies. I love my kids. Looking at them regularly just makes me melt, and all I want to do is hug them and make everything okay in their worlds. They are sweet and funny and smart and they love me back.

*My reputation. My principal tried to convince me that teachers who move up end up being the most respected, not the least, because the kids know you so well that they don’t bother testing you. That would be nice. Plus, at this point in the year my classroom pretty much runs itself. When the kids misbehave, they can quote how I’m going to scold them and correct themselves before I even have to open my mouth. If I could have that from Day 1 and keep it, that would be heaven.

*Curriculum. I love math and I love curriculum development. Thinking through what I’ll teach is what I find most intellectually challenging and interesting about my job. My principal promised me free reign and full control over our school math program if I move up… I’ve already created the sixth grade curriculum, and next year would be our first year having a seventh grade. He knows little about math, trusts me, and said he would happily just give me control over our whole math program.

*My kids’ brains. I’ve worked so hard this year to build conceptual understanding and teach my kids how to think. I’m still learning, but I don’t think I’m doing a terrible job and would love to keep working on the minds I already started with. Plus, I’ve been pre-teaching all these skills that I know they’ll need next year, and it would be nice to have that in place for myself. And I’ve worked so hard to make a lot of my kids love math and feel successful… I don’t know if I’m ready to entrust their brains to whatever random person they might hire instead. If someone messes them up next year, I’d rather it were me. I couldn’t bear to watch someone else do it.


6 Responses

  1. KCMO Chief

    Your blog always makes me feel so good.

  2. Just LOOKING at your pro and con list, sheer length, I think speaks for itself. Not many teachers get the chance to move up, but you always have the chance to stay where you are.

    Also, I think some of the biggest success stories I’ve heard have come from teachers moving up with their students.

    I vote: yes.

    • KCMO Chief

      can I like this?

  3. Ms. Math

    won’t you get bored if you have nights and weekends free?!

    • els

      yeah, that’s unnatural! nights and weekends? what are those?!

      I would do it. But be warned: 7th graders are really insane, and it might be weird to see your babies turn into them. If you’ve already had them for a year, though, I think you’ll be fine.

      • Yeah, I like 6th and 8th grade well enough, but something terrible happens in 7th grade.

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