So I spent my first day in a public high school. It was fascinating. Here are some incoherent ramblings about stuff I noticed.
1) They are just kids1!!!11!! Wow! They aren't adults, they aren't mythical creatures. They are just kids. Some of them were really sweet, some of them were trying really hard to be cool, but at the end of the day they were just kids. My main fear about doing highschool was based on my own memories of taking the bus home from school and having to battle the teen crowds at the bus stop and stuff. They seemed like weird scary creatures then. Now? Not so much.
2) Teachers don't really get a break. My mentor teacher teaches 4 blocks. Each is 80 minutes long. He has 4 blocks all term. So, none of those reputed "prep blocks" or spares. They get 45 minutes for lunch. Between helping kids with questions from their assignments and arranging make up exams and things like that, he ate about 1/4 of his apple. He says that sometimes he's able to make it down to the staff room to eat there, but not often. he at his lunch at 3:15 once school was done. I stuck around to help him with students and his work for the next day. I eventually left at 4:45 and he still had stuff to do.
3) It's LOUD and crowded. Between the 1st and 2nd class I briefly considered going to the washroom. The women's staff bathroom was at the far end of the hall. I battled my way about 1/3 of the way there before I decided that I didn't actually have to pee that badly and turned around and went back.
4) Some of the kids just don't care. My textbook on classroom management identifies that "motivation" problems are out of the realm of standard classroom management and generally require a long term approach and the book doesn't want to talk about it. Yet, that seems like it is very prevalent. Students got back progress reports and watching their faces showed that they didn't seem to care at all if they were failing or doing well.