My college has started a new Pilot Program. Students are assigned a mentor teacher the semester before student teaching. You observe/help out with small stuff - with your teacher and his/her class - the semester before you student teach and than you student teach the following semester. That way the student basically gets a whole year of "student teaching" (and sometimes spends 8 months with one group of students.) Well, I'm a Secondary person, and because not enough high school teachers volunteered to be in the program, I've been placed at a middle school. I'm with 7th graders in a low income school. Most have discipline issues and the average reading level is 3rd grade. My mentor teacher is young and tough. She is known for being a teacher who rises her students up. She currently has a student teacher (yes, I sometimes observe the student teacher) and that student teacher is a Middle School major. The children love both the teacher and the student teacher. I've been to observe full days three times in the last six weeks. Here is what I know: many of the students dislike me, because they don't understand that the current student teacher has to leave in late-October (she is a ELA and Math major, so she is going to student teach with someone else). They seem to think I'm forcing her out, and they aren't happy. I really don't care for middle school and am not looking forward to "getting my hands dirty" and student teaching. I don't know what it is, I just dread going to that school. The teacher is nice and she has lots of helpful tools. Most of the students are polite, even if it is clear they aren't fond of me. The curriculum is very slow (they are still learning parts of speech. Half have no idea what a verb is.). Maybe it is the curriculum? I've been studying and working with high school curriculum for a year now. I was very excited for it and had all sorts of ideas for lesson plans. Plus, there is a total lack of discipline and my mentor teacher has told me that I'll probably need to learn to yell. I'm not a yeller. Truth is: overall, I'm just not comfortable with these 7th graders and I don't know what to do. I've been told if I can survive student teacher at this school, I can survive any school. Which is great. I just feel so unprepared and unsure. Any tips or suggestions? I've tried voicing my concerns and the fact that I'm not comfortable with my mentor teacher and my supervising teacher at my college. Both have politely told me to grow up. I just feel let down, because I was so looking forward to student teaching a high school ELA class, and it looks like my student teaching will be spent yelling and teaching basic 3rd/4th grade reading and grammar skills.