I had a junior high student who was kind of a loner and would spend many a lunch hour debating with me just for the fun of it. Not arguing with me, he would just pick what seemed to be random topics to talk about for debate. One day there was a jar of Nutella that a fellow teacher had picked up for me (it wasn’t so easy to find back then). The student asked me what that was (chocolate-hazelnut spread, in case for some reason you don’t know) and I told him that I used it for baking but that I knew some people put it on toast and ate if for breakfast. This sparked him right away and thus began our debate about whether or not Nutella is a good breakfast or not. Right away I was going to win this one, as this is the kid who half the time eats a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos and a Mountain Dew on the way to school, so odds were not on his side. After discussing for about 10 minutes he succeeded that if you can serve a kid a Frosted Pop Tart, Toaster Strudel, Frosted Flakes, or a donut for breakfast, then surely yes, you could have Nutella for breakfast. And though he lost that one so to speak, he did his fair share of winning those debates.
People ask me if I go back to teaching full time will I go back to teaching junior high? My answer is most likely no. But not for the reason people think. Most think because junior high kids are a pain in the butt. Some are. But most are not. Junior High kids are funny, smart (way smarter than what they are given credit for), witty (with great sarcasm, which I fully appreciate), hormonal, and a bit mixed up. It’s just a tough age, and quite honestly the parents tend to make it even harder for them. Some still want to be a kid in junior high. Some want to be a grown up. Some are stuck in between. Then the kids who still want to be kids get picked on for not wanting to be more grown up. And then you add the hormones and it’s all a big mess.
One reason why I did so well with the junior high students was because I was honest with them. I had no problems coming in and telling them I had a headache and wasn’t in the mood to deal with anything that day. Or when I broke up with a boyfriend and was feeling emotional I would tell them, and let them know that I was extra sensitive so it was best not to misbehave because what might not normally bother me, would that day. The honesty was always appreciated and rewarded so to speak. I think parents think of their junior high kids as children still. And they are. But they aren’t as dumb as most of their parents seem to think they are. They know why you are fighting. They just want to hear it from you. Yes having to tell your child that daddy lost his job is hard and will probably make the kid nervous. Though no more nervous than him/her sensing something is wrong and you won’t tell him/her what is wrong so as not to upset him/her. Great plan. Then you have the parents who swing the opposite way and try to be the best friend. Don’t get me started on that. They already have friends, they need parents.
So if I love junior high kids so much, why not go back? Plain and simple…single subject. I don’t like teaching the same subject over and over again. It gets old real fast for me. Some teachers love that. They love that they don’t have as much planning, that part is nice, but I still think it is way more fun to teach all the subjects. Which in this state, if I want to do that the highest grade I can teach are 5th graders, who I also like as well.
Today’s simple Nutella cookies are in honor of my debating student. He got engaged over Christmas (wow, that makes me feel way old) and I got an announcement about it (congrats to you S) These are basically peanut butter cookies, but I took out the peanut butter and used Nutella instead. Hard, I know. All I know is that they make for one heck of a breakfast treat. Or do you not thing Nutella makes for a good breakfast?
*Oh and totally random is the sad but funny Crazy Cocker Spaniel in her new inflatable collar that she has to wear thanks to all the chewing she is doing. I tried the spray that is suppost to deter her, she thinks it’s a topping or something. Dogs.
Preheat oven to 350F.
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup Nutella or other hazelnut chocolate spread
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugars in a mixer on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often.
Beat for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
With the mixer on low, add the egg and vanilla. Then add the Nutella and mix well.
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low speed until all the ingredients are incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix just until the dough is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.
Using a small ice cream scoop (or a teaspoon) form the dough into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
Bake 6-7 minutes. Let cookies cool about 5 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool completely.