Middle School vs Jr. High Debate

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Ellensmom, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Ellensmom

    Ellensmom Companion

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    Nov 20, 2010

    Hi! I am currently a 5th grade teacher working towards my middle school endorsement in LA. I have to complete a compare and contrast paper highlighting the pros and cons of a middle school set up (5 or 6-8) vs a jr.high (7-9) set up. From what I have been reading, middle school tends to be more student oriented as opposed to subject oriented. Those in favor of the jr. high set up claim the students are more prepared emotionally for the changes that come with high school if they don't start until grade 10. So, I thought I would come to you all for help. If you teach in either set up, please chime in with your :2cents:. I'd like to hear all of your thoughts, both positive and negative regarding the set up. I have only taught in private schools with the middle school set up.
    Thanks for your help.
    Angela
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2010

    I taught in something of a mix, we were 7-8 only. We were student centered in that the team of 5 teachers meet everyday to discuss students and projects/tests/quizzes. Each student saw these 5 teachers for their core subjects. However, we subject based in that each teacher taught a different core subject: history, science, english, reading, math. The math teacher only taught math, etc.

    It was nice to have the time to truly meet and discuss needs of the students and see what worked with one student or didn't work with another. It was also nice to discuss tests and project deadlines to spread them out. The students enjoyed that they all had the same teachers and could share input or homework help.

    It became a little more difficult when trying to integrate special education students, work out science projects with all science teachers in the school, plan a team function or school function, and when you were the only teacher having difficulties with a student.
     
  4. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2010

    I went to school in those grade levels in the early 1980s and have experienced both types of systems. As a student I preferred the Jr. High setup. I liked the fact that I had different mixes of students in my classes, instead of seeing the same faces for 6 periods each day. Since it was run more like a high school, I was much more able to transition to high school in 10th grade (which was much larger than jr. high). I felt like I had more personal responsibility and accountability placed on me in the 7-9 setting than the 6-8. But I suppose that could just be due to school atmosphere and teacher differences.
     
  5. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Nov 21, 2010

    I've taught in both.

    There is a difference. In the Jr. High set up, I was an English teacher. I taught English to a number of different classes. My homeroom period was an all together different group of kids again.

    In the middle school set up, I was part of a team of two teachers who only saw 2 different groups of kids - my homeroom and my partners homeroom. I taught both groups French and Math and I taught Science to my homeroom. My partner taught English and Social to both groups and Science to his own.

    As for the atmosphere, I definitely felt like, at the junior high level, we expected the kids to act more mature and be more adult-like. At the middle school level, things were less like that.

    Now, I've also taught at the high school level - Grade 10 after the kids were at junior high and Grade 9 after the kids were at middle school. I feel that the kids were better prepared academically after junior high.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Nov 21, 2010

    I teach first grade at a K-8 school. I've also taught grades 5 through 10th at various times in my career.

    There is a huge difference between a 5th grader and a 6th grader.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2010

    Yes there is! There is also a big difference between a 6th and 7th grader.
     
  8. Ellensmom

    Ellensmom Companion

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    Nov 21, 2010

    Thank you for your input. Pretty much all of you have verified what the research is showing. Do any of you have a preference?
     

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