Pros: excellent co-workers
Cons: lack of materials and support.
Ideal lacked adequate materials and administrative support. Often schedules and requirements changed at a moments notice.
I taught 3 different grade levels, 6, 7, and 8th. 2 classes each of 6th and 7th graders and one 8th grade class. I taught the Earth Sciences standards to 6fh grade, the Life Sciences to the 7th graders and Chemistry/Physics to 8th grade. The school day ran from 8:15 to 3:45 Mon thru Friday. There was a staff of 6 middle school teachers. I had an hour of planning and 1/2 hour for lunch.
I learned to prioritize my time and to compartmentalize my efforts. I also sharpened my classroom management and organizational skills. We were trained in the use of the Smart Board. I also became adept at developing curriculum and content for the 3 different levels.
My co-workers and I spent at least 2 hours at the end of the day planning instructional strategies, given our population that included 50 percent special needs students. We would have monthly pot luck afternoon meals.Everyone was professional and collegial.
Management was emotionally supportive yet inept when it came to future planning and communication. While I had freedom to instruct, I did not get notices on last minute changes to my schedule or the schools implementation of polices or events.
The hardest part of the job was planning 3 lessons a day, 5 days a week with no curriculum, text books, supplies, or content.
The most enjoyable part was the freedom to deliver instruction in an innovative manner and my relationships with my co-workers.