High School to Middle School

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Mr.history, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Apr 25, 2017

    Has anyone here ever went from high school to middle school? I currently teach 11th grade US History but I was offered a job at a middle school teaching 6th grade. (a huge difference in age) I'm interested because this is in a better area (closer to family) and a pretty nice pay increase. I'm nervous about the change to a lower grade level though. Anyone made the switch and have any advice to offer?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 25, 2017

    I student taught middle school, and now highschool for 4 years, but I remember 6th graders.
    The only thing I can say is that they're much more immature, but still very young and eager to please. Have a procedure for everything. This is true in most cases, but with younger kids, even more: how to turn papers in, how to pass things out, how to sharpen pencil (can they get up? do they raise their hands? do they trade a broken one with a new one with you? etc.) Where to put their backpacks, etc.
    You gotta give them time for things and teach them everything, how to take notes, write down their homework, etc.
    Start off very strict, practice procedures, stay consistent and it will be great.
     
  4. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2017

    I currently teach middle school, and I'll echo what Linguist said. Have a procedure for everything. Be prepared for a lot more hand holding, even with things that you think should be common sense. I'm still surprised at what kinds of things my students DON'T know.
     
  5. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Apr 25, 2017

    I teach middle school as well. If you have good classroom and behavior management routines and strategies then you will be fine. Make your expectations known and like carolinafan said, don't assume they know. Patience is required while they get used to your way of doing things and your teaching style - it could take a couple of months so expect some teething problems.

    Relationships are important in teaching this age group and if you build a good rapport and students know you care about them, then they will want to do things that maintain that good rapport. Middle school is highly rewarding (in my opinion).
     
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  6. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Apr 25, 2017

    I made the switch from High School to middle school. It was tough, but doable. I thought for sure I would NEVER want to teach Middle School. Now it's all I want to teach. The kids are goofy, and because they are so young they are usually easier to correct or manage. Just know that you will be doing a lot teaching appropriate classroom behaviors. A lot of my kiddos parents are not in the picture and have had little to no positive examples set. You will have to teach positive behaviors. Enjoy it! Middle School teachers and kids are a blast. In my opinion.
     
  7. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Apr 26, 2017

    I'm a special education teacher, but I started in high school for a year, switched to middle school for three and now I'm back in high school. It was not a hard switch back and forth for me and I honestly enjoy both age groups. (Now if I had to switch to elementary or *shudder* preschool that would be another story)
     
  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Apr 26, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  9. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Apr 26, 2017

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm pretty excited about the interview. I'm still a little nervous about the change in grade level but I'm hoping that I will get to do 8th grade instead of 6th since I currently teach 1 class of 9th graders and they wont be all that different. I'm pretty structured and particular about how I have my students do things so I'm sure I will come up with routines or just follow the effective ones of the other teachers at the new school.

    My main concern is going from teaching college level courses (AP US) to a much less content heavy curriculum and how I will have to adjust to that and the very different abilities of my students. To be honest I have no idea what to expect from 6th graders in terms of academic ability but I've been looking at the curriculum and different lessons I see online and it seems like it could be good transition.
     
  10. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Apr 26, 2017

    So I just got an email from a second middle school principal asking to interview me on the same day as the previous school. Maybe that is a sign. (still kinda holding out hope a high school calls too...)
     
  11. TeachDW

    TeachDW Rookie

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    It's understandable that you're feeling that way. I had the same experience and I almost didn't come to my first day of class because I was still unsure up to the last minute. But based on my experience, I was surprised that it's rather fun to handle Grade 6 students because they're livelier. What I liked most is that they are more than willing to participate in our class activities, which I struggled with when I was teaching in high shool.
     
  12. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    Apr 28, 2017

    One thing to consider about teaching 11th and 12th graders is that a lot of your knuckleheads have been weened out. As they move up in age many will be kicked out, drop out or be incarcerated. In middle school you get to see the whole variety of kinder.
     
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  13. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Apr 28, 2017

    You need to be prepared to scaffold way more than you can for higher level HS students. Don't expect them to know how to take notes. Don't expect them how to write a paragraph. Don't expect them to know how to write a complete sentence, even (my experience was teaching mostly ELLs). Do expect to need to create a lot of charts, forms, structured activities.

    Also, do expect a lot of girl drama at this age (puberty hits early and can create wild mood swings). The boys are still babies, but some of the girls will (look) practically like teenagers.

    Also, when all else fails, kids this age still love to color (color-coding maps, charts, etc). I kind of miss my 6th graders and wish I could go back in time and be a better teacher for them than I was at the time (fresh out of teacher school and in over my head)!
     
  14. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Apr 29, 2017

    I went to both interviews yesterday. I think they both went really well. One was a one on one with the principal and the other was a panel interview. I think I did better with the panel interview but I think that had more to do with the types of questions they asked. The one on one interview was more broad "tell me about what a lesson in your classroom would look like" vs questions like "how do you incorporate writing within your curriculum". I just felt like the panel interview was more clear about what kinds of skill they were looking for. I was told that I would know by Tuesday and Friday if I got the jobs. I'm pretty excited. Still, it is nice to know that if I don't get either of these jobs that my current one isn't going anywhere so that is nice.
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 30, 2017

    Good luck! I loved middle school. I really don't enjoy HS, but I also feel that I didn't really get the full HS experience since I mostly just taught 9th graders. I think some of my colleagues really enjoy teaching the older students (11th and 12th graders). The few times I had an 11th or 12 grader in my class I really enjoyed them (with the exception of 1 of them).
     
  16. TeachDW

    TeachDW Rookie

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    I find it more relaxing to teach Elementary students somehow. They've got humor and fascination about things. As with the high school students, it's really fulfilling to see their improvement, especially in preparation for their career path.
     
  17. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    May 4, 2017

    I got an email about one job saying I didn't get it, I really appreciated that they let me know rather than just not informing me. I'm supposed to hear from the other one tomorrow but that is the one of the two that I figured I wouldn't get but you never know.
     
  18. Committed2DaProfession

    Committed2DaProfession Rookie

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    Hang in there. Just keep on applying and try to follow up with an email, when possible. Admin emails are usually found on the schools website.
     
  19. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    May 7, 2017

    So I just got another interview at a middle school and this one is for a Skype interview. I'm not sure I'm crazy about the location of this school but if I'm honest I kind of just want to have the experience of interviewing over the computer to see what its like. I already have everything set up for the interview (camera, microphone) now I just have to prepare myself mentally.

    My plan is to approach this just like a regular interview. I'm going to wear a suit on camera, ect. Only difference is that I have a multi monitor set up on my desktop and I may have some "notes" I can call back on, on the second screen.
     
  20. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    May 9, 2017

    I just got a job interview for the high school I graduated from! This is the 4th interview I've gotten so far and I'm super excited for this one!
     
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