from elementary to secondary ed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Leaborb192, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jun 23, 2017

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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 23, 2017

    I would recommend you spend some time working on secondary schools before deciding to switch. You'll spend more time with your students than your coworkers.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jun 23, 2017

    secondary schools are full of cliques too. Consider this - you know how there are people that just cannot let their high school glory days go? They were either super popular or wanted to be? Imagine those people STILL in high school. You don't see that in elementary school, but every high school I've been in has a large number of teachers that way.

    I took a break from full time work and subbed in elementary schools. A lot. I teach secondary now. There are lots of key differences. The biggest one for me is that the number of students you have is much greater with secondary. And the time you spend with each one is less. So you simply will not have the connections to your students that you have now.
     
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  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 23, 2017

    I subbed exclusively in 2-8 for about 10 years. I subbed roughly 170 days per school year, so I really worked this age group. I loved MS, appreciated 2-5, but never saw myself in the HS crowd. Fast forward a few years, and I found myself picked to teach HS, no questions asked. I loved the camaraderie of the HS teachers, and the way we pulled together for a common goal. The student base population was more uniform, and the expectations more uniform as well..Down side was that these students are heavily invested in their studies, with their eyes on the prize, like college, employment, or straight to jobs and earnings. I have been in the same age range for the last 10-11 years, and I can't imagine going back to the younger students. I would still like to try my hand at MS science, but don't see that in the near future or as a likely reality.

    I like being able to speak to my students as semi-adults, with reasonable expectations. Some students meet those expectations, while others could care less. You will find both on your rosters, so you have to be able to accept that. In secondary, you have to teach students to set and meet goals, with a lot less hand holding. I suspect you would appreciate the sense of humor and sensibilities of HS over ES or MS, but you still have to be careful to put the students first.

    I can't see myself going back to ES in the least, but MS would still be something I would appreciate and consider. I am going to say that the different age ranges are like "flavors", and we all have our favorites. There are pros and cons in every decision, so you will need to consider how much hand holding you want to do. Secondary teachers are more independent, with more flexibility to sink or swim. You can fly or sink like a stone, and it can all depend on your rapport with the students and love of the subject matter. I would like to think that I have found my equilibrium with the HS age group, and that would be mostly true. My schedule allows me less time with each student, and sometimes that is an issue. In the upper grades, you better be able to go with the flow, and be adaptable. Am I happy? Yes. I could gladly consider MS, but ES is kind of off the table for me to consider. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
     
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  6. Kelster95

    Kelster95 Companion

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    Jun 24, 2017

    I taught K for four years and now teach middle school sped. The biggest difference is the amount of dependency. Also you can talk and reason with middle schoolers. Obviously middle schoolers are a mess of drama and hormones but I wouldn't trade them for k babies again. I also really like the 80 min planning period every day and the unencombered lunch break.
     
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  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  8. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2017

    Yeah, I think it really depends on the school. I have an elementary endorsement and two secondary endorsements. I started in elementary, did some time in middle school, and then switched districts and am back in elementary because that's the job I was offered and this is a very "get your foot in the door" district. (but I am trying to get back in middle).

    I much prefer middle school. I liked focusing on my favorite subject, I liked working with older kids, and I liked working with different classes throughout the day. (I also LOVED the planning time, lol.) But, I have to say the fourth and fifth graders I worked with at my first school were far more advanced than most of my sixth graders I had. I had been excited for all the things I'd be able to do with them, and I ended up not being able to do a lot of the things I could have done with those 4th and 5th graders (again, this goes back to the specific school thing).

    Some elementary school teachers are cliquey and immature, unprepared, high strung, whatever, but so are some secondary teachers.

    Like I said, I want to be back at the secondary level, but I realize so much depends on the school itself. The middle school I taught at was one of my least favorite schools, but that was mostly with the staff. Very every man for himself.
     
  9. Kelster95

    Kelster95 Companion

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    Jun 24, 2017

    I don't think it was a fluke! If you can handle and even enjoy middle schoolers as a sub than you potentially will be very happy in middle school. Of course happiness is dependent on the school environment and admin.
     

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