Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Cthdenver, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. Cthdenver

    Cthdenver Rookie

    Aug 26, 2007
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    Jan 10, 2008

    I have been offered a job to teach 7th grade... I am wondering if anybody out can give me some ideas of what to expect.
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Apr 12, 2006
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    Jan 11, 2008

    I taught 7th graders last year after a career with older kids.

    They're amazingly loyal; once they love you, they love you forever. (One of them got me a Christmas present THIS year, although I no longer teach her.)

    They have no tolerance for fakes. They'll take you at your word and aren't terribly forgiving if you don't stick to it. They're very big on "fair."

    You got a job offer in an incredibly tight market; I say go for it!

  4. Computer Lady

    Computer Lady Rookie

    Oct 3, 2005
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    Jan 11, 2008

    I teach keyboarding and have grades 6-8. Seventh grade can love you one day and hate you the next but I just love them to pieces. Aliceacc is completely correct when she talks about their need for fairness.

    If you want a really good book that gives insight into middle school, I would really recommend getting Teacher Under Construction: Things I Wish I'd Known!: A Survival Handbook for New Middle School Teachers by Jerry L. Parks. It's a paperback and is only 110 pages so it's not something that takes a long time to read. I ordered it from Amazon.

    I have been teaching for 20 years now and I read this book before every school year starts. :)
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Jul 2, 2004
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    Jan 11, 2008

    GO FOR IT! 7th graders are great they want to treated like high schoolers, but really need some babying. I know this from my own experience. I probably gave my 7th graders too much responsibility.
  6. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

    Sep 28, 2004
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    Jan 11, 2008

    Whatever else you do or don't do, DON'T refer to middle school students as "boys and girls" or "children." Put almost all things "elementary" behind you.

    Treat them as they THINK adults are treated. This will take practice, but you'll catch on.

    7th graders are at a difficult stage. They are most definitely not children, but sometimes they act like children. Even then, DO NOT TREAT THEM LIKE CHILDREN.

    You can have cash in your hand and offer it to them, but if you insult them by referring to them as children, they won't take it.

    Fairness is absolutely necessary. They're keeping score. That's one reason why inclusion isn't always a good thing in the upper levels.

    They share their grades with each other. They look at each other's graded papers. If you're not consistent, they'll call you on it.

    They're old enough to do almost anything you ask them to do. Don't talk down to them. Don't "baby" them.

    They're still young enough that most of them will obey you.

    I loved middle school. 7th grade was perfection, to me. Treat them right and you'll have almost absolute loyalty and genuine affection from them. Mess with them, and you've lost them.

    And, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the "difficult and complicated" lessons you'll be able to use with them. They know how to think. They want to be challenged, even the lazy ones who pretend they don't. Sometimes, the "lazy" ones seem that way because they've never been challenged in their lives; they've just spent six years waiting for the slow kids to get done.

    There's to be none of that in secondary school. ADVANCE!

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