A few questions for SIXTH GRADE TEACHERS

Discussion in 'Sixth Grade' started by McKennaL, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Feb 17, 2010

    Hi 6th Grade teachers!

    I want THIS year to be the one that I not only knock it out of the park with my interviews…but one in which I grow in knowledge as well.

    I would like to ask you….

    What are the major issues facing teachers of the sixth grade?

    And

    If you were placed on a committee to hire another teacher for your school (for the sixth grade) and could ask two questions to prove that they were ready to teach this grade level, what would they be? What would YOU be looking for in this candidate?

    As I say…I’m preparing for interview season – but I also what to grow as a teacher of ANY grade…so I will be asking this of teachers throughout the grade forums. I appreciate any help you can give!
     
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  3. nolaguy

    nolaguy New Member

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    Feb 20, 2010

    I work at a city charter school and by far the biggest issue we have with 6th graders is excessive talking. It can also be challenging for some teachers to develop relationships with each student and to have engaging lessons that keep the students interested.

    What I would be looking for in the candidate is something that has engaging lessons, dedicated, plans on sticking around for awhile, and has a do whatever it takes attitude. For example, are you willing to give up your own person time to do tutoring or take student phone calls on homework without being asked?
     
  4. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Feb 20, 2010

    Organization is the thing our kids struggle the most with. Keeping papers in binders, keeping notebooks up to date (science and social studies glue nearly everything into notebooks at our school), keeping a homework calendar, etc.

    I would look for someone who is willing to do whatever they can to help their students, and knows how to work with children. Sixth graders are at an awkward point, and want to act grown up but don't know how to yet... it's a lot of fine-line walking!
     
  5. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2010

    Major issues facing sixth grade teachers: building a strong relationship with students and preparing students to be responsible and independent learners

    I think building a good relationship with sixth graders is key. They are in such a strange place socially that they need all of the help they can get. They need someone who will respect them, listen to them and care about what happens to them. Caring about them sometimes means being tough on them and pushing them to be better. They will respect you being tough on them as long as they know you care.

    Try to convey your willingness to work with this particular age of students. It's really neat to be such an important part of their growing up. When they come to you they will be kids, when they leave they will be young adults. You have the opportunity as the teacher to help with that transition.

    For example, my girls and I just had a great spontaneous talk about "growing up." Many of them told me they were too afraid to ask their moms any questions so I offered to answer any questions and a flood of questions came pouring out of them. They only felt comfortable to ask those questions because they trusted me and I knew that I cared.

    Be honest and upfront with sixth graders. I am very transparent with my students. I let them know what's going on and why all of the time - they're old enough to get it and appreciate being involved in the classroom decisions. Class meetings and honest discussions happen everyday.

    Also, be clear about your expectations with them. I have my students sign a document about class expectations and procedures at the beginning of the year. I've also found that parents find this to be very informative as well. A lot of them find they need to cut back on the help they are giving their students to help prepare them to be more independent. We keep track of their responsibility grade each week using a pocket chart - it's visible to all, just like your actual responsibility.

    Supporting and nurturing responsible students also means helping them to learn to prioritize and manage their time. We do a monthly calendar to keep track of due dates, events, etc. At the beginning, I had students writing down daily reminders to take a shower or eat breakfast. They need explicit help on how to be organized and efficient.

    Just like other grade levels, it does take a special attitude to be successful with sixth graders. They enjoy and understand humor mixed into their day. They'll definitely give that humor back to you along with many other wonderful things. They are a truly unique age group.

    Questions I would ask as an interviewer: How do you plan to help students prepare to become independent and responsible learners ready to go onto future grades? How will you create a trusting and positive relationship with your sixth graders?

    Good luck!
     
  6. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    May 10, 2010

    1.) Chatty
    2.) Organization
    3.) Getting used to the world of middle school and how different teacher's expect different things
     

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