How often do you change grade levels? Or never?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeachCafe, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2015

    I'm curious on how many teachers change grade levels every few years or even schools to get a different grade level.

    Talking with one of our SLPs this years she said "Oh I move schools every 4-5 years because for myself and the kids after having them from PK up then need to get use to someone different and I like having different kids after awhile"

    Which totally called to me as a sped teacher. I know in the past I definitely got attached to my students and seeing them off and getting a new bunch is a great opportunity.

    But I know at my school we have the 30 year KG teacher, 16th year 5th grade, etc. People just don't move. I know they're masters at what they do but I wonder about being that stationary in such a vast career.


    I said once this year that I'd love to teacher each transition grade K, 1, 3 and 5th before moving to a social studies position.

    I know for myself I definitely want to try as much variety as I can just to find my niche because who knows what will call to me.

    I feel like after this coming year, I would be open to any grade level and the only thing that would make me upset would be moving to a math/science position. Just science if there was a triad split in a grade level I'd be just fine being the science teacher but never math.

    How often do YOU move around? And is it usually voluntary or involuntary? Is it usually within the same school? District or do you have to leave to try something new?
     
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  3. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    If we want to make a move, we must apply and interview with the administration and the new team that we will be joining. I have not moved since I've been at my current school.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Our grade level teaching changes are pretty much dictated by student population. There is currently a 'bubble' in grade 4 so they have one more teacher at that grade than other grades. When there are retirements, teachers make got request to move into the vacated slot but mostly our teachers stay where they are.
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    In my current school, people are moved all the time. I've been in the same room for four years but have had three different assignments.

    I've moved districts when moving for family, but I did move once for me. I was newly widowed and needed a new start.
     
  6. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I've moved once in the three years I've been teaching, but that was only because I also moved 450 miles away. I went from 1st to 5th. I love 5th grade, and I love my school. Honestly, I plan to stay put as long as they'll let me. I really want to become an expert at my grade level. We develop our own curriculum at my school, so I'm putting a LOT of work into this particular grade level. My principal doesn't move us unless we volunteer, and everyone seems happy where they are.
     
  7. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    I've taught at three grade levels, 6th, 2nd, and K in that order. I moved grades because I was surplused anad was offered a 2 grade position at another school. I move to K when my P came to me and told me she was moving people and I was one of them. I've enjoyed each level. Here if you want to move to a new level in your building and you have the certification, you can just ask your P to consider moving you if a position becomes available. If you want to move to a different grade or position within the district, you have to apply and interview for it. This can be a catch 22. Some Ps like to block transfer request. What happens if you don't get it and the P takes the fact that you wanted to move on out on you?
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our teaching assignments don't tend to vary tremendously from year to year unless we request a change. There will be small changes based on enrollment. Last year I started the year with a split grade 6/7 class which changed to a straight grade 7 in early October. This year (we're still in school), I have a split grade 7/8. At this point, I'm teaching a straight grade 7 again, although the numbers are low (only 22), so it may become a split (probably a grade 6/7).
     
  9. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Wow! Now that's different. Does everyone get an interview?

    Here, we just apply for a transfer but we don't know what schools have openings, what subjects, grade level, nothing. By word of mouth you hear things but not a lot. It's totally out of our hands and the vast majority don't get a transfer.

    And interviews are always admin only, never the grade level team and we don't have deans or a lead teacher on a grade level.
     
  10. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    In 8 years I've taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and music. But that's at 4 different schools, since my husband was in the military. I did switch from 4th grade to music at one of my schools.
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I worked at one public school where they changed us around (whether we wanted to or not) every couple of years. They felt it kept everyone "on their toes."

    I personally didn't like it. I tend to buy and make a lot of grade-level resources, and when we were moved to another grade, it got expensive.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I had to think about this question. In my 40+ years in the classroom I have taught every grade level in general ed from PreK -7 and the same levels in SPED. Many of those years were combo classes as small as 2 grade levels and as large as 6 grade levels.

    This year I have SPED grades 3-7.

    So, I have moved a lot. The longest I have spent in one class was 5 years in a K-5 class.
     
  13. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I taught 7th grade English my first year. Then I moved states and taught 4th for 3 years. I transferred schools in the same district and taught 5th for 3 years. Then I switched districts to my current one, where I've taught 5th for 4 years. I'm thinking I have another year or two in 5th before I burn out on the grade. I absolutely LOVE 5th, and it's really easy to get pigeon-holed because it's really hard to find people willing to teach 5th grade. Eventually, I would like to do more work with curriculum, such as a specialist, and I would like a broader range of grade levels to really be effective.
     
  14. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    I taught second grade for one semester and then I moved schools and to first grade where I stayed for six years. One teacher moved back to Houston and I moved to second grade when she left. This will be my sixth year in second grade. I will only consider teaching first through third, nothing higher or lower. If I ever get moved either way, I would request a transfer. Transfers go through the interview process, but usually transfer easily.
     
  15. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    I have never requested to change grades, but I was once moved to a different grade level because they lost their grade level team leader. At my school, most people stay at their grade level unless the administration feels the grade is not a good fit.

    I feel that even if I were to stay on the same grade level for several years I would not get bored. I'm always learning new things, coming up with more effective strategies, procedures and centers, and becoming more efficient at my job.

    In addition, our curriculum and textbooks update every 2 - 3 years, so that keeps me on my toes.
     
  16. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Most who apply for a different position do at least get an interview - but not all. It is definitely not a 'given' that any teacher will get the position.

    The interview is always with admin and at least one representative from the grade level team. The team is expected to collaborate closely during the year, so finding someone who is a good fit is important!
     
  17. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Right after I posted this, my P asked me to transfer to 1st grade.
     
  18. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We really aren't moved unless we ask. We may need to pick up another prep here or there, but our core stays the same. If someone leaves, we can ask to move. It's the same for elementary, but obviously without the changes in preps.
     
  19. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    We can request to change grade levels or stay where we are in the spring. Out of my 15 years, I will have taught 4th grade nine of those years. I've taught 3rd and 5th, but went back to 4th grade as soon as I could.
     
  20. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    I've spent two years in 2nd grade, two years in 3rd grade, and this year I'm moving down to 1st! The first grade change was because I left the district for 3 years to be a SAHM and came back to a different school. The move from 3rd to 1st happened because I re reeeeally wanted it. I'm excited and hope to stay in primary for a while!
     
  21. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    In SPED, everything depends on caseload. I taught gen ed 2nd, then 3rd, then moved to 6th sped, then 7th sped, then 6/7 combo, and this year I'm going to have 6th-8th. I was supposed to move to 7th LA, but the position was a budget cut. :( Eventually, I'd like to find something and stick with it. It sucks to move every year.
     
  22. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    In 7 years in my district, I have taught every grade from 6th to 12th at three different schools. I work in a very transient district where teachers often switch schools since it is so large and moving has, mostly, been my choice.

    Here, at the secondary level, most social studies teachers teach mixed-grade classes - unlike English and Math teachers - so I have been able to teach a variety of grade levels and courses and figure out what I like.
     
  23. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I've been at two schools in 23 years.

    At the high school, I have taught English to grades 9-12, AP English, and journalism. I did that for two years.

    At the middle school, I have taught 7th & 8th grade reading, 7th and 8th grade health, 6th grade humanities, 6th grade language arts, 8th grade humanities, 7th & 8th grade language arts.

    Most of that time has been 7th grade language arts. I am moving grade levels this year for the first time in at least 10 years, if not longer. I had been in the same room for 17 years!
     
  24. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I've been switched a lot...
    6th grade LTS for half a year in one district. Did not get a contract position with them for the following year, I was seeking a FCS position.

    New district - 3 years high school FCS; FCS program was reduced in size, got switched to 5th grade in that same district (I have multiple certs). Did 5th grade for 3 years.

    Got new job last year in different district (by choice, I wanted to get back to FCS) and did middle school FCS for one year. FCS program is being reduced and I am being switched to 6th grade social studies for this coming school year.

    So, I'm entering my 8th year of teaching (8 1/2 to be more specific due to the half year LTS) and starting new position number 5.
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    We (admin) may not move teachers to another grade-level because we feel they're not a good fit for their current grade-level. The teachers' union would shoot that down in a nanosecond.

    The only circumstances that warrant us moving a teacher to another grade-level is when we need to "collapse" a class. In the event that we need to collapse a class (too many teachers in a particular grade-level and not enough students to justify having x amount of teachers), the teacher with the least seniority automatically gets moved.

    Of course, teachers can apply for transfers in the spring when job postings are released. In the event that several teachers apply for the same posting, the teacher with the most seniority automatically gets the position--no interviews are held.

    In my district (and throughout many CA districts), seniority is sacred.
     

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