How long do you spend in a grade level?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by historynut, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. historynut

    historynut Rookie

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    Dec 8, 2010

    I ask this because my Principal hinted at the possibility of moving me because I've had experience in other grade levels. I've taught 3 different grades with no more than 2 years in any of them. One move was my decision the other was administrations. All of this has been at one school.

    This is a new principal and he likes to move people so they get experiences. I had to beg to stay in 6th grade last year.
    I kind of feel like I don't get a chance to perfect anything because I'm always on the move. I also don't get a chance to bond with my team members too well. One year I only spent a year in one grade and they started spreading rumors about me when I left. :eek:

    I would just like to know if anyone else out there is a 'bouncing' teacher? :lol:
     
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  3. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Dec 8, 2010

    I've been teaching seventh grade for 17 years. Sometimes I think I might like to try another grade level, but I really love seventh graders!
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I understand the pros and cons of grade level jumping. Personally, I think it takes a few years to become proficient at a grade level.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 8, 2010

    I've bounced around quite a bit, but in different districts as well. Some teachers in my school have only taught one grade their entire careers...while others have moved every few years. I know one principal who moves all teachers every other year (maybe not to a new grade, but a new team or specialty).
     
  6. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    I have taught 5th two years and I'm on my second year of teaching 4th, but I've not taught any of them consecutively. The district eliminates position, and since I'm low man on the totem pole, I've bounced back and forth for the last four years. On one hand, it keeps things fresh. But on the other hand, like you, it is difficult to get a real handle on things until you've taught the subject/grade for awhile. We hired a new teacher this year, so I will be able to teach 4th again next year, and I am sooo looking forward to it!
     
  7. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Let's see... nearly a year in resource, a year in behaviour intervention, half a year in grade three, half a year in grade one, and now a year (half-time) in grade two... I'd love to be in the same grade twice in a row!
     
  8. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Dec 8, 2010

    most consider 3 years in a grade as a good amount of time to learn that grade. You learn the most about a grade in the first 3 years.

    I have taught k-2 and yes I believe moving around does make you a better teacher (as long as you spend at least 2-3 years in each grade.
     
  9. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    Dec 8, 2010

    At my old school I taught kinder for 4 years. At my current school I taught 7th & 8th grade LA, SS, Art (1 year); 4th grade self-contained (1 year); 6th grade LA (1 year); and thank goodness I got to stay in 6th grade again this year!

    I am glad I have the experience of teaching so many different grades and students, but I really enjoy not having to move classrooms every year and focusing on improving what I'm teaching, not learning new curriculum.
     
  10. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Dec 9, 2010

    This is my 22nd year teaching 4th Grade. In all my years at my school, we have had only one teacher switch grade levels.
     
  11. milteachwife

    milteachwife Rookie

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    Dec 9, 2010

    Maybe there is a positive side to all the moving. I'm still learning about teaching, but if you do really want to change things in education your wide span of experience might make you a great administrator. Teachers are on the frontline, but really policy changes begin with principals, at the district, and even the school board. Maybe someone sees potential in you. OR it could just be that you are brand new. I just offering a better way to look at things.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 9, 2010

    This is my 6th year in 6th, but I did take on 7th and 8th this year also (I still have 6th part time). I really like it-I can see how each level advances.

    I think there is always a "grass is always greener" mentality in teaching. We had an opening in a lower grade a few years back, and I was about 30 steps from my P's office to tell him I wanted to move when I realized that truly the only reason I would want to move was because that room had a window and an outside door. Needless to say, I did an about face and moved on.

    I don't really understand why P's want to move people around so much. I can see maybe a grade above or below, but to change completely is, in my opinion, not fair to the teacher or students. If my P moved me to Kindergarten...lordy. Or 1st or 2nd or 3rd. I am not skilled at those grades, I know this. Teaching reading is not my strong point, which is the main focus in primary. Likewise for those teachers moving to my grades-it just wouldn't be a good fit.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    There aren't often drastic changes, but we need to be prepared to move to anything within our qualifications at any time. As grade level numbers change every year, so does the class organization. For example, this year we have one grade 6 class and one split grade 5/6 with only a few grade 6s. Next year, because of the number of grade 5 sudents, we will likely have 2 full grade 6 classes--someone will have a different assignment than they do this year.
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Dec 9, 2010

    I think to move one level up or down is good because then you know where kids have been and where they need to go. This is my 6th year and I've been in kinder, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and now HS. I believe that my experiences in all of them have helped make me the teacher I am, and it's given me insight to what I like to teach (4th-8th) and what I'm really not happy in (kinder, HS). But, I do think you need to be in one grade level for more than 2 years in order to really understand the grade level.
     
  15. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Dec 9, 2010

    Our contract limits the amount of moving that can be done involuntarily...

    a K-3 teacher won't be asked to do an intermediate grade, and a 4-6 teacher won't be required to do a primary grade (unless it's a 3 moving to 4 or the other way, but any subsequent assignments have to be in the original category). You can apply for a different grade level, but the P can't move you outside of that "category" without consent.

    Not sure if PreK can be moved to K without volunteering, though...
     
  16. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Dec 9, 2010

    Here in Spain they divide the six years of primary ed into two-year cycles, and you usually spend both years with the same class (ie. you do both 1st and 2nd, or 3rd and 4th, or 5th and 6th, with one group.) But once your class moves up to the next cycle, you are free to either start the cycle again with a new group, or to move to a different cycle. Whoever has seniority at the school usually gets first choice, and usually 1st and 2nd are the least popular. You can also transfer to a different school of your own choosing, provided that there is an opening at that school and that you have enough points (years worked in the system and professional development, mostly) to choose ahead of anyone else who wants that spot.
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 9, 2010

    It's my 3rd year in K, and I am finally starting to really get it. I think it would be frustrating to jump so much.
     
  18. historynut

    historynut Rookie

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    Dec 9, 2010

    I loved being able to move to 6th and say "I know you were taught this in 5th". I think some movement to stay fresh is a good thing. But its pretty bad when the office staff have to ask me "What grade are you this year" all the time.:lol:

    I always keep an open mind and move willingly when asked/told to. I have seen people get moved from 6th to 2nd. That is what I'm afraid will happen. Like some of you said I don't really think I would be good in the low grades.

    mkate - there is something to be said about rolling up with your kids. I spent 3 years with one group. I enjoyed it but it was nice to see new faces.
     
  19. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Dec 9, 2010

    I have taught special education for four years, third grade for 1 year, second grade for 3 years, and currently I am in my 5th year in fifth grade (the longest I have ever stayed in one grade level). Almost all of the switches were my decision expect for one when I my principal switched me to second grade after one year in third, but that had to do with the class sizes.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 12, 2010

    In the 20+ years I've been in my school, I've taught almost every math course our buidling offers.

    I think it's made me a much stronger teacher.

    For starters, I can cover anywhere I'm needed. At the moment, I'm covering an Algebra class for a friend who is recovering from surgery (my only algebra class this year; I've had them since just before Thanksgiving.) In the past, I've covered everything from Intro to Calc to Middle School math.

    When I was looking to come back to work after being a SAHM, I called to let them know I had 2 other job offers. I was hired on the spot, in spite of the fact that we didn't have a math opening. It didn't matter; they knew they could jiggle things, and that any math course I was offered would be fine-- I know my material and my kids would be well taught.

    Trust me when I say that makes me VERY hireable!!!! (Those 2 offers I turned down were for different courses-- one was mostly geometry, the other was mostly Pre-Calc. It didn't matter; I have lots of experience in both.)

    I think you DO need 3-4 years to really get one prep down. But after that time period, I think it's a great idea to move up or down. As historynut said, it's so nice to know exactly what they're coming in knowing, and what they'll need emphasized for next year and the next.
     
  21. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Dec 12, 2010

    We had a new Principal who changed all grade levels teachers one week before the school year started!!! We had all left assuming that we were teaching the same grade level the coming year but were in for a shock. I don't think she paid attention to our qualifications adn experience as she had teachers who were qualified to teach up to Grade 3, teaching middle primary and upper primary teachers teaching Pre-k. It was just too much unexpected change for the whole teaching staff, plus most teachers had only taught a grade level for 12 - 18 months and wanted more experience at their grade level.

    I have taught the same grade level 5 years. I think I have stayed at the this level so long because I enjoy seeing the huge learning curve of the students who enter with nothing (Pre-k/Kindergereten), I have so many resources amassed and the curriculum keeps changing. We have a new curriculum next year, 3 subjects I have to introduce next year, 3 the following year and so on.

    I personally believe 3 - 4 years in one grade level is probably the right thing (although it is an individual's choice). The first year it's all new, the second year you are building on what you have learnt from the first year, the third year you are doing the final tweaks and the fourth year should be your cruise year!
     
  22. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Dec 12, 2010

    I've taught for 11 years, all in K.
     
  23. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Dec 12, 2010

    After teaching 4th grade for 8 years I was moved to 5th because we didn't have enough kids for 3 teachers in 4th. Then I moved schools and went back to 4th. I enjoyed 5th, but I LOVE 4th. :)
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 12, 2010

    Sorry for the hijack, but Chisty, I LOVE your avatar!!!!

    We have that as an ornament on the tree, and I adore it!!
     
  25. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    LOL Thanks, Alice. I have one like it, too. It was on my Christmas cards that I sent out last year.
     
  26. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I've been teaching 2nd grade for the past 5 years. I feel so extremely comfortable teaching 2nd grade; however, I can definitely see myself moving up (possibly to 3rd, 4th, or 5th) next year (or the year after) just to switch things up.
     
  27. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Dec 21, 2010

    I started in K when they needed a 3rd K teacher at the end of the first 6 weeks. I stayed in K a second year, though there were only 2 of us as one asked to move to an open 5th grade spot. I was moved to 6th-8th grade LA the next year when she decided to move back (and the admins agreed K was a better fit for her). I replaced the teacher who became principal in this move. I stayed in 6th-8th position for 3 yrs until another teacher wanted to move to the upper grades. She was going to be the new basketball coach and the admins thought she should be teaching the kids she coached. We switched positions so I went to 4th. Love that grade level and my partner. Sadly, she only stayed one year. The next year brought a new principal and a new teaching partner. At the end of the year, K came open again so I went back. I would be fine staying in K the rest of my career. In my case, it was all abut being low on the totem pole and HQ (certified at that time) in several areas so I could be moved.
     

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