I always enjoyed teaching teenagers.
They are at a very tense and sensitive age, usually feeling frustrated, insufficiently consulted and misunderstood.
On the other hand, if they have a teacher who is perceived as just, and is willing to admit some imperfections, they can be loyal and develop real ( if limited ) affection.
Most of my teaching career I was dealing with teenagers or failing children.
Very rewarding areas, but also very demanding!
This is an essay I have kept for fifty years.
It was an essay set as a punishment for some outburst or other, long forgotten and forgiven.
I was touched by its honesty, and it made me question myself and feel for the writer.
She was a fourteen-year-old.
She typed the essay out really neatly, and handed it in with no comment, but we did meet later for a final smoothing of the situation.
I have not corrected any of the spellings or grammar.
Everyone, no matter how old or young they are, must at some time in their life pass through a stage known as growing up.
We are at that stage now.
Sometimes we act very childishly and seem to be making no progress towards the adult world at all.
At other times we really do try to act as adults should ( adults accasionally act very childishly).
However for the majority of the time we just try to grow up with our selves - in other words, we try and 'act our age.'
Growing up is a time when we are classed as adolescents and it is because we are neither children nor adults that we- (if we do not practise self-control enough)- lose our tempers quickly or fly off the handle at the least little thing, but in time (and I am being given plenty of opportunities to practise self-control) I think I shall most certainly be able to control myself.
Whatever age a person is they are hurt when they have been insulted or think they have been, but when you are an adolescent it hurts a great deal more than an adult possibly imagines it could.
During adolescents we learn to think and thinking is a very important part of living but at the moment it sometimes gets us in a bit of a mess.
Often when I have stopped to think seriously about something I sometimes wish I hadn't bothered afterwards because it makes me much more confused, but gradually, as I grow older I think everything should begin to sort itself out better.
School, it is said, is the best time of our lives but no one (I don't think) can appreciate every single thing that is done for them at school until after they have left and have it no longer.
These days we have a much happier time at school than our predicessors but sometimes we are apt to take advantage of privileges that adults have gone to a lot of trouble to get for us and then they think that we don't appreciate anything but we do and we also realise that everything done at school is done for our benifit and nobody elses.
School is a place where we grow up but we are not finished with learning when we leave.
We will have to start right at the bottom of the ladder like we did when we were first years.
Much was said in that essay.
I think it is the best expression of adolescence I have ever read.
I learnt a lot from it at the time.