Move from Elm to Middle School?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by MWMnElmed, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. MWMnElmed

    MWMnElmed Companion

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    Sep 27, 2007

    I currently teach fourth grade. I enjoy the students, but the multiple preps and never ending meetings with the various departments is getting old. I was wondering if anyone out there has moved from elem to middle school and how they liked it. My degree is in secondary ed, so I am used to the attitude when they get older. Please let me know your thoughts and how you like teaching at the middle school jr high level.
     
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  3. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    All of my experience was elementary until this year I moved to 5th grade in a middle school. I like my job, but if you want to move to a middle school to get away from all of the meetings, etc, it's probably not the best move. Of my 96 students, 25 of them are on some kind of plan so in four weeks of school we've already had 4 IEP meetings and one 504. We've also met with Title 1 staff every week to go over the students getting services and the students who are being monitored for possibly needing services. Because of having so many students, I've sat in more meetings regarding student services since school started than I did the entire school year last year and during my 6 months of long-term subbing the year before.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 27, 2007

    I'm interested in responses to this thread as well. I have taught at the elementary level and got my 4-8 certification in Feb. I'm not too worried about meetings, just the overall thoughts.
     
  5. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Ok, well here's my :2cents: about being at the middle school in general:

    My certification is 1-6, but all of my experience is in grades 3-5, so teaching 5th in a middle school wasn't a big deal as far as the behavior. My biggest issue with the change is that I'm only teaching two subjects. I teach reading to my homeroom and writing to all 4 classes of 5th graders. Most days I don't mind it, but Wednesdays, for example, are tough. I have a prep first period, teach two periods of reading, have lunch, and then teach four straight periods (11:40-3:20) of writing. By the end of the day I'm completely wiped and tired of hearing myself talk because I've repeated the same lesson four times in a row! There are many days when I think of how nice it would be to be back teaching 5 or 6 subjects throughout the day. Yes, I only have to plan to teach that one writing lesson, but I really do get tired of repeating myself over and over again.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Beth, that was one of the reasons why I got my certification...I wanted to only have to worry about one or two subjects. That's a big expanse of time!! My sister teaches 2nd grade and once she comes back from lunch/recess, she's in the classroom, no break from 11:45-2:45.
     
  7. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    The time without a break doesn't bother me too much, there were days last year when I had no break at all because we ate lunch in the classroom. It's just on the days that I'm teaching the same lesson 4 times in a row that it really gets to me.
     
  8. MWMnElmed

    MWMnElmed Companion

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    I love working with students, I don't think the age would be a factor. When I was working in the corporate world I would volunteer with 1st-6th grade. I've taught high school social studies. I am just trying to find a spot where I can work with the students, and not take home a bunch of work each night and over the weekend and be able to leave after school is over on a regular basis. I'm sure everyone else out there is looking for the same thing. Anyone know where to start looking? Please restrain from your sarcasm.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2007

    We don't have middle schools here--our elementary schools are JK-grade 8, but some of our grade 7 and 8 teachers are more subject-specific (science, history, geography) and are teaching the same lesson to several groups of students throughout the week. Although the planning time may be minimized, the marking load can be staggering at times--90 (or more) Science Labs, history research projects, or geography reports can be daunting and time-consuming.
     
  10. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Honestly, I don't know if such a teaching position exists. Unless you would want to become a paraprofessional or substitute, you're probably going to have to either stay late/go in early or take work home no matter what grade level you're teaching.

    When I was at the elementary level my school was done at 2:30 everyday. I would leave by 3 because the after school program took place in my classroom, but I always took a ton of work home. Now, at the middle school, the school day is 8-3:45. I get here at 7 and I'm here until at least 5:00 everyday, but most days it's closer to 5:30. I still take work home over the weekend, but not as much during the week.
     
  11. Lovetoteachkids

    Lovetoteachkids Comrade

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    I taught four years of 4th grade and just started a 6th grade position this year in a middle school. I LOVE IT!

    The kids are more independent (for the most part). You can joke around with them differently, and be sarcastic. I love teaching only two subjects. It's much more manageable for me. My day goes from 6:30 am to 2:30 pm so I love that I can be there for my own kids at their bus stop later in the afternoon. I don't have to be at work that early but I choose to so that I am ready to leave when the day is over.

    I teach Social Studies to my homeroom, then a high math class, then Social Studies to another homeroom, then lunch & recess, then average math. Last period varies.

    Having the first three periods in a row makes the day fly and I like that a lot. I do most all my grading at home and do any prepping I need to at school. Teaching elementary seemed like more work to me because of all the cutesy things you have to do, and collecting their homework everyday. I like not having the same 20-some kids all day.
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I am lucky at my school we teach three blocks per day and you have at least two preps, meaning that you will never teach the same thing more than twice in one day. Most of of us have three preps so we teach something different each period.
     
  13. MWMnElmed

    MWMnElmed Companion

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    I know it will take a while to find a position that seems like a fit for me. But I didn't want my first year in elem to run me away from education because of all the take home work, extra duties, and yes cutesy things. I know there are positions out there that are less demanding and just as rewarding, and I'll admit it that is what I would prefer, with two little ones of my own waiting for time with their daddy.
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    MWNnElmed, I don't blame you. I have a little one at home too and when I was teaching elementary, I just didn't get that time that I wanted with her. I'm not a very creative person to begin with, and I felt it even more being in kinder and 2nd grade because the teachers around me where just off the wall creative! I can be creative with lessons but when it came to displaying work or decorating class or bulletin boards, I don't have a creative bone in my body.:lol:
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2007
  15. MWMnElmed

    MWMnElmed Companion

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    Sep 30, 2007

    smalltown,

    What grade do you teach right now?
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I have previously taught kinder and 2nd. I'm subbing this year because we're new to the area so I'm trying to get my foot in the door.
     
  17. Reb0028

    Reb0028 Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2007

    I recently moved from 6 years in elem school to 6th grade in a middle school and all I can say is they have waaay more meetings in middle school than when I was in elem!!
    I like being here but it seems like every day there are meetings for different depts.
    good luck!
     
  18. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Oct 17, 2007

    I moved to 6th grade this past year and love it. It is more work (the grading is tough) but I like focusing on one subject.

    I'm waiting for the PE or Guidance positions to open. I think those two areas would be fun and I'd have less papers to grade! Not to mention less pressure (no state assessment).

    I know the more years of experience I get, the more efficient I become. I go in on a Saturday or Sunday 2-3 times a YEAR, where my first 2 years I went every weekend. I do grade papers at home though.
     
  19. MWMnElmed

    MWMnElmed Companion

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    Yes, become a guidance counselor and advise anyone wanting to teach to work with children to become a PE teacher!! Just kidding.......................kind of. I have thought of it myself.
     
  20. Retalmo

    Retalmo New Member

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    Oct 27, 2007

    Just be sure you like the age group! Middle Schoolers are a very different kind of animal. Not cute little munchkins and not logical young adults...often a mixture of both and neither at the same time. If You can love the beast in them then YOU are made for Middle School otherwise don't even try it...Wouldn't be fair to you or the kids (Been there for almost forty years and wouldn't want to be anywhere else)
     
  21. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Oct 27, 2007

    retalmo, i second that.

    i've done high school for 2 years and a month this year. so i've seen every "logical animal" as you've mentioned. all the attitudes. "grownness". you name it, i've seen it.

    so coming to MS was a welcomed delight. they're not quite the little ones that are needy and need coddling and hand-holding but they're far from being dependent, common sensical or really even responsible. but that's what we're there for-to push them to be that way by the time they leave! it's WONDERFUL! this is the first time i couldn't wait to get back to school on monday...

    to work in middle school (and even high school) you have to be able to take in all of the "grown up tantrums" better known as "attitude problems". you have to think of yourself as the attitude adjuster and the common sense fairy. and sometimes even the tattle taler get ridder of-fer. because they DO have their 4th grade and kindergarten moments... (i'm talking 7th & 8th grades). you have to not be so attached to a schedule that if you have to break away from a topic to deal with noise or some other commotion or interruption, it won't ruin you or your plans.

    i was looking EXTREMELY hard into elementary myself, coming from HS. because i felt like my personality fit in more with the little ones. but as someone else said, i can still be myself and even joke with the middle schoolers where i know the babies would be like :huh:. i thought it would be better for me to teach ALL subjects to only 20+ children every day. Only have to memorize 20-25 names. Only have to grade 20-25 papers. Get to assign a number to each student so you can anonymously identify them. But then i thought- i have to teach EVERY subject which means i have to grade EVERYTHING. i'm already bad about grading 4 classes worth of ONE AREA that i'm good in. What if i'm grading 5th grade math- i DETEST :mad: fractions. Yea, so i should stick with what i know. And after reading retalmo's post, i know i'm in the right place. She said exactly what i've said to someone else when they asked me how it was going with the middle schoolers and the adjustment.

    So i know i'm in the right place. :) Hopefully 40 yrs from now i'll think and say the same things...

    Retalmo, you can help me with the novels ;)
     
  22. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I would have to agree with others on this issue - I don't know any job in a classroom that you won't take home work, have extra duties, ect... I teach high school - my extra duties include hall duty between passing periods, parking lot duty (once a month), chess club, academic super bowl, film club, junior class sponsor . . . Teaching is a demanding job :2cents:
     
  23. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Oct 27, 2007

    and if you love your kids & content area...

    it becomes less and less like 'work' or 'a job'. ;)
     

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