Junior high students have a reputation of showing disrespect and being hard to handle, and many adults don’t want to work with them. I started working the junior high students accidentally in a way because my college professors thought I couldn’t handle high school students, so when they placed me for practicums and student teaching they put me with junior high students!
I had positive experiences with junior high students throughout my teacher training — I saw they are funny, awkward and need encouragement just like the rest of us. One student made me cupcakes when I finished student teaching!
Jump ahead to last year; after I started being the lead teacher, I learned how vicious and mean junior high students can be. It hurt to have them not like me at times and show it in their actions and words; those actions made me more anxious about work. I also wanted to do well at my job, so that I could come back the next year if possible.