When you ask people about their middle school experiences, no one ever seems to have happy memories. It doesn’t matter if their middle school years were just for two years (grades 7-8) or also included grade 6. There’s something about middle school (tween & teen angst, perhaps?) that makes it a place that people don’t love. Me included.
So why would I go back to middle school?
Years ago I left the classroom to see what I could make of my little space here on the internet and as my site grew, I didn’t see myself returning. I loved working in schools but I loved sharing what I know about technology, parenting, and education through my site even more.
I’m so proud of what Tech Savvy Mama has become. I appreciate that you come here for guidance on incorporating STEM into your homes, best practices for introducing digital devices to your kids, and trust me to provide the best resources that exist to make your lives easier.
I never planned to leave teaching to start a blog nor did I think I’d return to the classroom. But life has a funny way of working and last week I returned to the classroom to teach 8th grade computer science!
This was not a position on my radar at the start of the school year but a teacher shortage plus a good friend insisting I was qualified led to this surprising life change!
I have years of of classroom experience with students and adults alike, a couple of Masters degrees, a teaching certificate, and a whole lot of knowledge gained from parenting two middle schoolers. I’m definitely qualified on paper and have confidence that I didn’t have as a new teacher, just starting my career. But middle school? Gulp.
The tween and teen years are angsty. Sometimes we wonder if our pediatrician has missed a DSM-5 level diagnosis during our last well visit. Hormones take control over our sweet kids in ways they can’t explain or rationalize and leave us scratching our heads.
When I announced the possibility of returning to the classroom to teach middle school, my own teens wondered if I’m having a midlife crisis. I’m not! Even my mom, a lifelong educator who spent her years teaching every elementary grade imaginable, told me that I’m braver than she ever was. There are days that I wonder if I view this as a new personal challenge akin to running half marathons and fundraising for St. Jude but honestly, I know I can do this.
After all, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that there isn’t anything I can’t do. Just be sure to remind me of this next week, the week before winter break, in February, and after Memorial Day!
What Teaching Middle School Means for TechSavvyMama.com
The good news is that since I’m teaching middle school part time, I’m not going anywhere! I’m still going to be blogging and working as an educational consultant for amazing clients. I’m excited to bring incredible resources gained from my years of blogging into the classroom to enrich learning and also incorporate what I know about middle schoolers from the perspective of a teacher to the work I do with clients.
My new job doesn’t change what you can expect from me and TechSavvyMama.com. My content calendar was already full when I accepted this job and this year’s Holiday Gift Guides are already in the works!
This will be my 13th year of publishing my age appropriate gift guides for Preschoolers, Early Elementary Ages, Tweens, and Teens that will be filled with items I’d gift or love for my kids to receive. I’m also planning to publish more specialty gift guides than ever before, including lots of new cool items to inspire STEM learning in all ages through my STEM Gift Guide! I’ll have an updated Teacher Gift Guide and also a brand-new Outdoor Lovers Gift Guide to inspire your family’s unplugged adventures.
Back in 2008 when I started Tech Savvy Mama, I had no idea what this journey would be like and can’t thank you enough for reading and trusting me to be your resource for digital parenting and STEM education!
Oh, and since I’m teaching middle school, let me know what questions and concerns you have! I’m happy to use my knowledge of middle schoolers to write content that will help you navigate the tween to teen years!