When people find out that I'm a teacher, the reaction was totally predictable. Kind of humorous actually. Allow me to role play the small talk scenario for you.
"So what do you do?"
"I'm a teacher."
The response was always the same. It would be something along the lines of "oh that is so wonderful" or "teaching is so admirable" (still in small talk mode) followed by the question of what grade.
All of the sudden small talk ends and the person is actually looking or rather staring at me. It is like a deer in the headlights. And the comment is along the lines of "Wow you are so brave" or "I could never do that-- I have no idea how you can teach that." (Please keep in mind that normally the person has no idea what I teach. Rarely was I asked what subject because the words "junior high" are there own species. Apparently that is the subject.)
And believe me, there were times I wondered how I survived and I felt like I was a circus trainer rather than a teacher. But that feeling was the exception-- not the rule. I really did enjoy the junior high kiddos, especially 7th grade! :) And I'm sure I will miss them this fall.
Anyway, yesterday while Devin and I were enjoying the cooler weather and went for a long walk in the park. I realized why junior high is so frightening to most people. I saw some kids wandering through the park. I asked them if I could take their picture and they seemed delighted that I noticed. How could I miss it though?! It looked as if they were celebrating Halloween in the middle of July. Yup, junior high is definitely its own species and my job title really might be best fitting as Circus Trainer.