It's official. I got my teaching assignment today, and it's the worst of the worst: sixth grade. Ugh. But the plan is for us to "loop" with the kids, meaning I get to move up each year with the same group (at least those who pass) until they finish 8th grade, at which time I will revert to a new batch of sixth graders (or flee the City and get a cushy teaching job in the County, or overseas for the State Department in a second Obama term). The idea is that I get them young, mold them, and then develop relationships with them over time. I like the idea on paper. Of course there will be kids I never want to see again after the first month, and I'll be facing the prospect of having them for their entire middle school careers.
I have no idea what to do with sixth graders. They're beyond my ken. I don't even have a classroom library for kids that age. Help me DonorsChoose.org! I've already dropped two large on classroom supplies and books and I'm loathe to spend another penny. Of course sixth graders in central district are likely to read at a third grade level, considering the eighth graders last year were at fourth and fifth.
But I'm excited, despite having not the slightest idea what I'm doing. I got my room and it's big and I have tables instead of desks and I have bookcases and world maps and two giant cabinets which lock. I moved the orientation of the room and put my projection screen on the side wall and pulled it down to test it and there in giant red marker was the word "Fuck" and the charming imperative "Suck it slut." I got a hearty laugh at that--such a warm welcome back to the Book. I'll be using white poster paper for a screen this year.