Best elementary grade to teach?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Teacherella, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    Apr 21, 2006

    Hi. I'm just starting a MAT elementary ed graduate program
    and have my first observation (out of two) this Fall. I'm
    pretty sure that we get to choose the grade level and school
    we want to observe in. I also will begin student teaching in
    Fall 2007 so I'm trying to figure out what grade to request.

    I'm a substitute teacher now so I have an idea of what
    elementary grades I prefer, but I was hoping for advice from
    those who are elementary school teachers. I know for a fact
    that I prefer 2nd-5th grade...2nd grade being iffy.

    What do you think? Pros and cons? Thanks!
     
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  3. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Apr 21, 2006


    I retired from the corporate world........ I just started substitue teaching. For me I prefer the 5th, then the 4th grade classes.
     
  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Apr 21, 2006

    Fourth grade is my favorite, but I really enjoy fifth as well. They're old enough to be very independent, but don't have the "adolescent attitudes" yet (for the most part!). They're still young enough where sticker charts and other reward systems can work well for behaviors, but old enough to understand sarcasm and joke with you. My favorite ages are pretty much 9-11 year olds.
     
  5. 5thgraderocks

    5thgraderocks Companion

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    Apr 22, 2006

    5th Grade Rocks!! :)
     
  6. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Apr 22, 2006

    I enjoy second grade.... I loved third grade. But you deal a lot with tattling and that can be annoying. In second and third grade you do a lot to solidify what they know about reading. Maybe that's true for all grades?
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Apr 22, 2006

    My favorite is 5th, too. But, it depends on the person. I would judge by what kind of content you enjoy working with. If you think you would most love, say, phonics, go with younger grades. If you would be bored silly teaching about communities in general and would prefer to teach something like American history, go for 5th grade. And math. Would you be satisfied teaching simple addition or would the challenge of fractions for 10 year olds be more your thing? I know I wouldn't be satisfied with some basic curriculum areas and it is better to love your subjects as well as the kids.
     
  8. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Apr 22, 2006

    I couldn't agree more.
     
  9. RitaFirstGrade

    RitaFirstGrade Companion

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    Apr 22, 2006

    I teach first and LOVE it, ao I am no help to you! :)

    In first grade, they learn to read (most of them for the first time) and that is SO rewarding to see. They are like little sponges and want to please. They are not independent like the older kids, but they can learn procedures and become more independent as the year progresses. Yet another thing that is very rewarding to see!

    I do not think there is a "best" grade to teach. Every teacher is different and has preferences. First grade is "best" for me!
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I think it really depends on you more than anything. What do you enjoy? What kind of personality do you have? Personally I LOVE teaching 5th. I went down to fourth for a year and it took the first semester for me to adjust, but I like that grade too. I did my student teaching in a 1st grade classroom, and while I loved my childern, it just seemed to require too much shoe tying and nose wiping. Fifth graders are more independent and can take more resposibility than the younger kids.

    I was told this when I was in college: If you like to be in control, like to direct, like to be very involved and are detail oriented (a micromanager I guess) you have a "me" personality. Go for the primary grades. If you enjoy helping, guiding discovery, but also letting others work challenges on their own, want to be hands-off at times, and are an overseer of sorts then you have a "we" personality. You were made for the middle grades (4-6). If you like to give information then stand back, expect others to be responsible for themselves, can handle being on "standby" without feeling the compulsion to jump in and take over when things don't look the way you had pictured in your mind's eye then you have a "you" personality. High School will be a good fit for you. No one had a definition of a jr. high teacher. Personally I think those people are saints.
     
  11. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2006

    Amen about jr high teachers. Middle school is such a tough time and I can't think of anyone who actually enjoyed being in middle school!
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 22, 2006

    It's really important to think about your personality & knowing what kind of person you are & what age level kids you think you work best with. That aside, I've been a sub for several years & in several more weeks, I will have student taught for a total of 1 year (1/2 in special ed & 1/2 in general ed). From my experience, I think 3rd grade is the best. They've been in school a few years, so they know what school's all about, but in my personal opinion, this is the last grade level before they generally start being smart-alecky.

    The only cons w/ 3rd grade is that they seem to have to sharpen their pencils a lot & tend to say that their stomach/head/throat hurts & they tattle-tail. But, if you don't mind that, it's ok!

    I'm student teaching in a 6th grade class now & I think they may be the best behaved class of that grade level I've ever seen, but I can see that they can very easily be defiant & smart-alecky. It's a lot more difficult to keep them to stay well behaved than say 2nd or 3rd graders, who are more afraid to get in trouble in school. The sixth graders aren't nearly as afraid. Telling them they'll go to the office, if they do (such & such) behavior again, doesn't really frighten them into straightening up. The higher the grade, the more variety of discipline tactics you'll have to have. Of course there's always good & bad of every grade level, but generally, this is how I feel about it.
     
  13. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    Apr 23, 2006

    I love first grade! Its such a powerful grade-they learn to read and grow up a lot that year.
     

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