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It’s Nice to Be Liked

The position of middle school English teacher that I hired into in September of 2012 was vacated by a teacher who moved up to the high school when a high school teacher left to teach elsewhere.

That seemed confusing.  Let me rephrase.  Mrs. M taught high school.  She left.  Ms. R taught middle school.  She took Mrs. M’s high school position.  I took Ms. R’s middle school position.

Make sense?

This is Ms. R’s last year at our school.  I don’t think I’m breaking any rules or confidences by posting this.  She’s made no secret of it.  She’s moving to Minnesota.

My seventh graders asked me shortly before Christmas break, “When Ms. R leaves, are you moving up to the high school?”

“Um… no,” I replied, confused why they would ask.

“GOOD,” they said.  “Don’t move to the high school.”  (I’ll have these seventh graders next year as eighth graders.)

“I don’t want to move to the high school,” I replied.  “I like teaching middle school.  It’s my favorite.”

They seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.  That felt nice.

Today, I had more seventh graders ask me similar questions.

“Are you planning to stay here a while?  Like, for a long time?  Like, until you retire?”

While I certainly cannot plan out the next twenty-five years of my life on the spur of the moment, I did say, “That’s the plan.  I would like to stay here until I retire.”

“GOOD,” they said again.  “DON’T LEAVE.”

I’m not sure why they are so concerned about my departure.  I can’t think that I have said anything that would make them think I was leaving or looking to leave.  Perhaps other teachers have talked about leaving; I don’t know.  But it certainly makes me feel good to know that my students like me and want me to be their teacher.

I might not like everything about my job, but that’s sure one thing to make it worthwhile.

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About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

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