Why teach high school (vs middle school)

I decided that I wanted to teach high school World History in tenth grade, in Coach Casey's class. So, for @missv, I present a list of all the things that are awesome about teaching high school.
  1. Organizing the cool events
    Here I am after O-Glow 2016, a giant paint party fundraiser we put together for our Relay for Life team. For four hours, my students dance around in a gym covered in a terrifying amount of plastic sheeting and throw paint at each other. This is the kind of thing that I really wanted to do when I was sixteen.
  2. Cooler Sports/Clubs
    I don't even know what middle school kids do for fun. I assume that they shove each other a lot and trade Pokémon cards. I sponsor cool clubs, like the Colorguard, the Winterguard and Relay for Life. I've also sponsored fencing. The nice part is that I don't have to know anything about these things, because high school teams hire people from the community to coach them. I mostly file paperwork, cheer on my kids and brag about how cool they are.
  3. Travel Opportunities
    I've traveled extensively with my students (in this photo, I'm in Spain) for the last ten years. We've traveled to England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Japan and China. You can't really just take kids from a middle school out the country for ten days without drama. On these trips, we learn so much and it's just magical.
  4. Cooler Curricula
    Again, I don't know what they teach at the middle school level. The high school AP History curriculum requires me to talk about EVERYTHING - gender, sex, religion, race, class and politics. Middle school kids aren't quite ready for these deep talks. Guiding them through these discussions and helping them unpack their ideas is so rewarding. I get spent a lot of time helping kids learn how to think and what they think, rather than what to think.
  5. Amazing Student Opportunities
    Here are twenty-six of my girls who were recently honored by NCWIT (the National Center for Women and Information Technology) at Georgia Tech. My students do fascinating things - intern at video game companies, earn fantastic scholarships and are able to work every single day towards their future. There are just more things like this for older students.
  6. My coworkers
    I feel like this photo is pretty representative of how hilarious my friends are at work. Thanks for stealing my phone Tyler.
  7. Redoing High School, Every Year
    So, high school was terrible for me. Every year, I redo high school and work to give every kid a positive experience. I get to be the kind of adult that I needed as a kid. Here's my friend Brooke, who reached out to me four years ago, and brought me into her "girl squad." Before her, I was friendly with people at work, but I wasn't super close with anyone. Every day, I'm excited to go teach, and see my friends.
  8. High school is just more fun when you're in charge. You get to make the rules, and set the tone.