Ms. Frizzle, a New York science teacher currently on a fellowship in Turkey (and blogging under the name Ögretmen), responds to a New York Times article on the difficulty of working with middle school children. She believes there are compensations:
As someone who chose to teach middle school and has stayed committed to the age group for seven years, I’d be the first to admit that every day can feel like a series of soap operas whirling around me. Teaching middle school has quadrupled my patience—and I am still not patient enough some days—but it has also brought great rewards. Old enough to have really developed individual interests, nevertheless middle school kids have not yet narrowed their path and are still open to falling in love with something unexpected (ecology? poetry?). They have a fierce sense of justice. They don’t need their shoes tied and they rarely wet their pants in class, but they still need their teachers for so many things, and when we provide emotional support, they return it fifty-fold.
Clearly, she’s found a happy medium.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.