Well, grades are in and just waiting for final approval for the “real” teacher, so I can breathe for a minute.  This week was crazy because I’m trying to plan for the new six weeks and the amount of material I have to get through is overwhelming.  I have to go from the War of 1812 to Reconstruction by Easter. 

And the really fun part?  All the political maneuvering that leads up to the Civil War is not only the most complicated and difficult to understand, it’s also the most boring.  I mean, really, 8th graders do not care about the Era of Good Feelings, Jacksonian democracy, or nullification.  This is the part of history where I feel students are totally justified in asking how on earth this relates to them.  How do extinct political parties and Constitutional issues that have been resolved for over 100 years effect a 13- or 14-year-old?  I don’t think I could come up with a convincing reason for how they effect anyone (except maybe a Supreme Court aide)!

In addition to the War of 1812, the Industiral Revolution, and the Monroe Doctrine, I also get to teach about Africa South of the Sahara next week.  I am soooooo not qualified for that.

Oh yeah, and none of this is happening in a vacuum.  There’s also the Reading TAKS on March 3, Spring Break, students who are completely incapable of being attentive for 10 minutes (much less 45), students whose sole mission in life is to avoid learning, my second job, and 30-35 hours of reading and preparation for Teach for America.

Good thing I love those smart-alecky middle schoolers.  Really, I’m serious.  I don’t know why, but I do.

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